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Edited by Abburi Chaya Devi 
Seela Veerraju 
Kundurti Satya Murty. 

3rd May 1994. 

Cover page Photo by Dr, Gopala Krishna Abburi 
Book Design and Layout by Seela Veerraju 

Abburi Trust, 

Published by Abburi Trust 

HIG/B4/F4, Bagh Lingampally, Hyderabad - 500 044, 

Price : Rs, 200 

LA* -I : 

* At 

"") l % ' ' * t,^, , 

Copies available : \J $ { 

1 , Abburi Trust Hyderabad, 

2. Visalandhra Book House, Hyderabad, 

Composed by 

Fontline Graphics 

Bagh Lingampally, Hyderabad - 44, 

Printed by 


Chlrag All Lane, Hyderabad - 500 001 , 

Cover Printed by 

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If only Varada (Varada Rajeswara Rau Abburi to give his f uil 
name) was bora in England he would have been hailed as an 
Oscar Wilde for his ready wit. This quality of ready wit was 
imbibed by Varada from his father, Abburi Ramakrishna Rau, a 
pioneer in Telugu literature to be ranked with Gurazada and 

Varada was again a Gertrude Stein andEzraPound of Telugu 
literature. Varada was an intimate acquaintance of many a 
stalwart of literature and journalism - Viswanatha, Krishna 
Sastri, Chalam, Sri Sri, Arudra, Kundurti, Rukmininatha Sastri, 
Khasa Subba Rao, Kotamraju Rama Rao, K. Iswara Dutt and 
what have you and like Pound he was a well spring of 
inspiration to a generation of talented writers. Varada was cast 
in the mould of a renaissance scholar. A front ranking poet, 
delightful essayist, gifted playwright, scintillating conversa- 
tionalist and raconteur he was a pioneer in the field of working 
journalists movement and was also associated with a leading 
publishing firm in Delhi for several years. 

In the early days immediately after completing his B.A. 
Honours at Visakhapatnam Varada had a brief stint in Andhra 
Prabha and Indian Express. He worked with the well-known 
journalist K. Iswara Dutt at Hyderabad before Police Action. 

Varada always longed for a forum for modern poetry and 
therefore brought out two issues of Telugu modern poetry in 
1954. Later he got rendered Telugu poetry into English and 
brought out the volume of Modern TeluguPoetry in 1956 under 
the editorship of his wife Abburi Chaya Devi. Some of the best 
poems drawn from all Indian languages was published in 
another anthology of Modern Indian Poetry . The Modern Indo - 

Anglian poetry was published in 1959 and Modern Assamese 
poetry in 1960. 

With unbounded love for classicism, Varada always 
endeavoured to usher in modernity in literature. He is truly a 
genius as described by P. Lai, the well - known Indo -Anglian 
poet and thinker, 

Varada was always young at heart and there was never a dull 
moment in his company. In these days in which mediocre 
writers and shams masquerade as master writers Varada suf- 
fered in silence. His departure leaves a void which can never 
truly be filled. 

I whole heartedly congratulate my sister Smt. Chay a Devi for 
her painstaking efforts in bringing out this volume. Varada with 
his wit and intellect, his love for classicism and true art and his 
vitality and zest for life will live in our hearts for ever. 



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RKCOQNISKD ir ALL TNC DRCtTom or Punic (NiritucrioN 


A Monthly Devoted to Indian Education 







^60 e*o&66. Madras University Research 


Asirvatham ^g fiTbSj 3oc&jSoSi ^0^06. ^r \$o& 
3oo3 Madras University Registrar So 

Dr. S. Asirvatham 




S. Radhakrishnan 



9th November, 1942, 

Dear Rajeswara Rau, 

hank you for your- letter* If a 
reference is made to me, I shall reaeoiber 
what you say. 

With kind regards, 

Yours sincerely, 


: 1943-46 

B A. (Oxon), Ph J>. 

Professor & Head of the History, 
Economics & Politics Dept, 
Andhra University. 

University CoUeges 

Date: 24-7-45 

I have known Mr. A. Rajeswara Rao, MA. for over six years. He was a 
student of the University Colleges for three years and underwent a course of 


instruction in History, Economics & Politics, with specialisation in Politics. 
He possessed a wide knowledge of the different subjects and an intelligent 
grasp of the fundamentals. I consider him to be one of our best students in 
recent years, 

V.S. Krishna 

Professor & Head of the History, 
Economics &Politics Dept, 
Andhra University. 


. 19446^ 




b crib^S 

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77B Harris Road, 

Mount Road P.O. 


My Dear Sister, 

I wrote alerter to you a few days ago in reply to yours. Last evening 
I again received a card torn you. I like to know the exact state of the 
health of father. Is the complaint acute or still in the initial stage? 

1947 G* 


Whatevefit is he needs complete rest and best treatment possible If 

the Doctors advise, he can come over here and stay in some nuisinghome 
or Sanitorium . I am trying to come there if I can snatch a couple of 

days leave. I am worried day and night. I have even lost all taste for 

You must immediately write to me of your plans for father's 
treatment. I have written to Sthanapati Satyanarayana to come to you 
often and be of some assistance. I don't know what Vani has in mind. 

... How are the children? I will write to mother tomorrow Where 
is Dr. Lanka Sundaram now? 


Yours affly 


: 1946-47 


, M^tfRAS REyrCw. 

I ctm thoroughly recommend the servloea 
of Mr. A,. V. Rajeswara Rau as an all-round 
journalist capable of carrying out all the 
editorial duties required for any Journal, 
having obtained the mo*st satisfactory work 
from him while he w as iti charge of the 

edition of the Madras (war) Review. 
He also faithfully served the Department 
and hi s personal character is beyond reproach. 

Pernhiii P.O. 

7th August 1946 






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J 1947-48 

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K. I S W A R A 

D U I T 

Messages from friends and 
admirers on the occasion 
of his 60th birthday and 

the Silver Jubilee of 
his journalistic career* 

Compiled and presented by 


$66 Sfc 57 

19, Albert Road, 

17th September, 1947. 
Dear Sir, 

I thank you for your letter of the 12th of September about Mr. K. Iswara 
Dutt. I should have been very happy indeed to have written something at 
length about him if it were possible for me to do so. I have however, been 
confined to bed for about 18 months and am unable to do any serious work. 
I am, however, sending you the following message:- 

"I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. K. Iswara Dutt at close quarters 
for about 17 years, during which period I have learnt to admire his power of 
great facility of expression, command over the idioms and above all his sober 
judgment When he was at Allahabad he occupied a distinct place in the social 
life of Allahabad and was looked upon as a journalist of great ability. He was 
the founder of the Twentieth Century which commanded much influence and 
respect so long as it was possible for him to edit it himself. I hope he has many 
years of useful service before him, I wish him every success in life." 

Yours faithfully, 

A. V. Rajeswara Rau Esqr. , 

rn XT /11 U 

The New Globe, 

&tWsidency). Uej Bahadur Sapru] 

1947 ff* 









28 vftpa-S ^toSrf aa^O St., Madras 


My dear Varada, 

In the hope that you might have reached Waltair by now I am addressing 

this letter C/o. your father. Are you likely to come to Madras in the near 
future? Could you fix up a residence at Bezwada? My Satakam is ready to go 
to press. Your father has promised an INTRO in kanda metre. Could you send 
it on to me? Phani hasn't sent me the photographs. When you go to Bezwada 
please urge him on to prompt action. I have applied to the Chief Press 
Magistrate for declaring myself as Editor DhvanL What about your article on 
ftcSf^d ? And your father's verse. I met your brother Kumar the other day. 

He is O.K. 


Sri A.V.-Rajcswara Rau M.A 

C/o. Sri Abburi Ramakrishna Rao gam A % / , 

Librarian, Andhra University q>+* cA*. 


28 S.P.S. St. S. Puram, 
R. Peta, M. 


My dear Varada, 

Received your silence. Hope you'll break it am proceeding shortly to 
Vizag. Shall appraise you the exact date later. Stopping at Bezwada for a day 
or two. Please ask Phani to be ready with photos. QK is away at Hbad. 
Satakam is ready. 

" Arudra" is fixed up as Asst. Editor in Ananda VanL 

more (most probably) in person. 

affly yours 

Sri A.V. Rajeswara Rau 

C/o. M. Phani Bhushan Rao 

"Mail" Correspondent Sn Sn 




My dear Varada, 

am in receipt of all your letters. My address is the same. I heard that you 
were atHbad&soIdidn'twrite.Hopeyou have returned toBezwadaby now. 
How about publishing my Century. I am told that Jacobin Publishers have 


announced that they are printing it A friend of mine (I think you know him- 
Mr. T. Bullaiah of Navabharati Gurukul) has offered me money and has 
undertaken to get it printed. But the deal is yet open. I want [him] to expedite 
matters. My Ms is ready. It is with Mr T. Bullaiah, room No 20. Meenakshi 
Vilas, [... rrabalu] Chetti St G.T. Madras. [I am] writing this letter from the 
above address. You can, if you write to me to the above [address] or to 28 
SrinivasaPerumal [Sannidhi] St Srinivasapuram, Royapet But I am badly 
in need of [money.] I want to come to terms speedly with my publishers. 
Please negotiate on my behalf and let me know. I wrote to your father for his 
Intro but there has been no reply. Arudra is writing a a^r, and Visweswara 
Rao's verses ( &, A,) may also be included, 

As for my "Dhvani" things have come to a temporary standstill. I am still 
expecting a call from the Chief President.. Magistrate to declare my [name] 
as the Editor & Publisher. [The] quarters from which I [expected] money 
have chosen to [sleep] over the matter. Every thing [is] going wrong with me. 
With the greatest difficulty I am managing to keep my head above the waters 

Puripanda is here. He is printing his 'Soudamini* and other poems (in 
English translation) here. The translations have been made by me & I also 
wrote abrief &breezy introduction. The printing is proceeding apace#nd the 
book promises to be a nice little luxury. 

Well. I shall halt at this point am eagerly awaiting to hear from you.tjnay 
go to Vizag one of these days. In that case shall telegraphically advise you 
of i" v iourney. 

&&&&.] TT _ ^ ^ ^ 


12th February, f 47. 
My dear Varada, 

I am again in the happy company of Mr. Dutt I met Mr. Sreenivasa Rao 
and here is a letter he has written to you. your letters are delivered by Mr. 


Shyamsunder and nothing to worry about them. Mr. Dutt is very well 
satisfied with your work and he only said that he thought that the address you 
gave him is not complete when simply said-Hanumanpet, Bezwada. By this 
time you might have received his letter too. 

The exhibition is postponed for another fortnight and I could get an advL, 
worth Rs. 100/- from them. I wrote to Mr. krishnamurti to issue the number 
with the available advts and think of the rest later. 

I am very happy to tell you that your article on Sir Mirza is highly praised 
by Mr. Dutt and everybody here. Don't get worried over something said by 
somebody-get along. Wishing you good luck. I am coming there on i4th 

[Malladi Phanibhushana Rao] 

IJRamachandra Rao 

n<v>-.o> .. i i p 

Dattt j!Lx> "...,.2" 7* 

Dear Mr.Rajeswara Rao, 

Your kind letter to hand. I have been expecting to hear from you. I had gone 
to Hyderabad about a week back and learnt that you had met my father-in- 
law. During my stay in Hyderabad I called on Mr.kwar Dutt I introduced 
my brother also to him. YoumaybeinterestedtoknowthatMr.MadhavaRao 
Anwari to whom I gave a letter has now become an M.L. A. Do meet him 
when you visit Hyderabad next. 

I would certainly visit Bezwada some time ^ Please be writing to me 
whenever you find time. 

With best wishes, 

[P.SJ Kindly convey my respects to your father. 



Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau gara, M,A. 
Liaison Officer 
Hanuman Pet 

Y. Madhavacharya, M.A., 

Nuzvid 19.3.47 


Hanuman Pet 


27(hMar f 47 

My dear Varada, 

I know you are happy with your parents after an absence of some months 
and I am sure your dear father is keeping good health. I am eager to meet him 


When are you going to go here again. Mr.Phani had been to Madras and 
I do not know his programme. Did you send the design to Mr.Dutt; and what 
did he say about I do hope you have shown it to father. 

With kindest regards, 

ooooS^S 2oj*o To* 


Yours sincerely. 

K.Rammohan Sastri 

n-5 Vtffi* 

1948 & & TL3&. 
at Hyderabad) 

(Agent-General of Government of India 




Journalists, publicists, publicity and public relations men, and film and 
radio experts, who devote their time and talent to influence the public mind 
and put others 6n the map are themselves so much behind the scene that not 
much is known of their duties and responsibilities, of their methods of work, 
of their assignments andactivities,andof their own personality, that I venture 
to launch a quarterly entitled "The Publk Mind' - a quarterly to begin with 
- for filling a gap in our periodical journalism. The journal will cover a large 
field and contain attractive features under various heads. It will incidentally 
be a kind of meeting ground of fellow-workers who are endeavouring, each 
in his own way and according to the measure of his opportunities, to make 
an appeal to the public mind as well as to mould it 

It will be heartening to me to know that I have your blessings for this 
project of mine and to have the farther gratification of being able to profit by 
your advice. An occasional contribution from your pen will doubtless 
Enhance the value of the publication and guarantee the success of the 

May I therefore solicit your moral support and active cooperation in the 
interestsxrf a cause which you have made your own. 
Thanking you and with kindest regards, 

I am ..... 
Yours sincerely 



Cs~ 3 4 



V. Nagiah 

No. 16, Dr. Nair Road, 


Madras, 22nd October 1947. 
Dear Mr. Rajeswara Rao, 

I thank you immensely for your kind letter dated 20th inst. While 
congratulating you on your bold venture, I wish you and worthy journal all 
success. As desired by you, I shall, at my leisure, try my best to contribute to 
your journal and thus give my fullest co-operation to the success of your 
God bless you, 

Yours sincerely, 

Sri. Abburi V. Rajeswara Rau, 
Editor, Public Mind, 


Fernhffl P.O., Nilgiris 
27th Oct 1947. 

Dear Rajeswara Rao, 

Glad to hear from you and to have news of your work and the quarterly 
you are bringing out I would have written earlier only haven't been keeping 
too well-I was in Bangalore and the food there upset me. Here I am recovering 
in the serenity and kindliness of the mountains. 

Ill do what I can in the way of an article, and you can expect it sometime 
in the first week of November. 

I don't hear very much from Madras. I expect everyone feels a bit 
depressed, suppressed and puzzled as to what to do ... I get that sort of 
impression from the occasional letters I receive as well as from the daily 

"Public Mind" seems quite a good venture only do you think youTI get 
enough specialist material to fill it and keep it going? Unless most people 
write anonymously, can they write honestly about their wok and still keep 
their jobs?! 

Anyway best of luck as always, and thanks for your kindly message, 

IVS. Hope the address is adequate 

-you don't give a street or number 



6th Nov. 1947. 
My dear Rajeswara Rau, 

Received your kind letter of 2nd. You're correct in thinking I spend most 
of my time in study and writing-when it is not spent in doing my own (or the 
Gurakula's) work, cooking, gardening, even digging potatoes etc. and trying 
to milk a cow.. Anyway it does nobody any harm! 

Bangalore, where I went for three months, gave me a stomach ulcenation- 
bad food there. Spratt told me something of the Roy case, seemed to me 
absurd on Tata'spartandhe ought to make foolsof them. I guess he's enjoying 

I enclose an article, best I can muster on the given topic. Hope it's not too 
long. You can cut if need be.Has Spratt written for you? If not do ask hlrn and 
quote me as saying he might, if you tlrjik that necessary. 

The Arab union move is useful to buffer off Russia from the East and to 
hold out on US plans to muscle in on oil etc. But all is being set for the big 
show down between America and Russia 

Well , I want to get this off to you in time as promised Yes , Td like to have 
a copy of Roy's latest How far does his Humanism go? It will be interesting 
to me to see. I could return copy if necessary. Thanks for offer. 

wannest greetings as ever, 

a Sincerely yours 

^ John Spiers 

Public Mind 

Editor Gandhinagar, 

Abburi V. Rajeswara Rau Bezwada. 

My dear sister, 

We had been to Nuzvid yesterday to attend the formal proposal function 
at the residence of the eldest brother of Mr. S. Krishnamurti. Late in the 
evening we woe back here and father left immediately for Waltair. He will 
be writing to you shortly. 

Father was telling me that you intend visiting Waltair for a short stay. If 
you are going there write tome in advance so thallcan send you the necessary 
money and see you off at Bezwada station. 

Yours affectionately 


I have known Sri A.VJRajeswara Rao since he was a lad when .he 
confronted me - and many others - with precocity. Recently, I who hadbeen 
in the North and he who remained in the South, found ourselves drawn by 
Destiny as Head and Assistant respectively of the Department of Public 
Relations in Hyderabad. It gives me pleasure to acknowledge that, besides 
high intelligence and deep earnestness, he has given abundant proof of his 
discretion and tact in delicate situations and difficult conditions. He adheres 
to a fine literary tradition in Andhra, and is also endowed with a larger 
outlook encompassing different communities and distant regions. As I 
ardently hope that he will grow with his opportunities I sincerely wish him 
good luck in his endeavours. 

K. Iswara Dutt 

Hyderabad(Deccan) Public Relations Officer 

March 17, 1948 

In response to your letter N.43/S.T.R.O of the 18th instant, I have 
pleasure in stating that I know Mr.A.V.Rajeswararao, son of 
Mr A.Ramakrishna Rau, since his childhood, and that I have taken personal 
interest in his educational and literary and journalistic career. 
Mr JfcyeswaraRau is a versatile gentleman, and bears a very good character. 
He is hard-working, honest and loyal. 

He is exceptionally fitted to be the Telugu Publicity Officer, Information 
Bureau, Hyderabad. He has an excellent command of Telugu literary forms. 
He is an author in his own right, and has some books to his credit. He is a 
journalist of considerable reputation in Telugu journalism, and he is a 
playwright also in his own right His output, both in Telugu and English, 
as a journalist is considerable, and his previous experience of the type work 
involved in the present job is an additional point in his favour. 




people both in (he State 

Yours faithfully, 


s k 

: 1948-49 
























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Mdharanipeta P. JO. 

.... . . 

6 M. A., L. T. 
Reader, Andhw University. 

Date.. 3. dm. .^.r:.,. 

I have known Mr. Abburi Varadarajeswaia Rau M. A. for a number of 
years almost from his childhood as a student in the Andhra University and 
later as a grown up young gentleman of great culture and charming manners. 
He has a mastery over Telugu Language and wields a facile pen. As a 
journalist and a writer he always could appeal to his reading clientele. The 
good knowledge of English he has enables him to render- statements from 
English into Telugu with precision invigorated by his easy flowing and 
idiomatic style. He has the keen eye of an artist which is eager to catch the 
grace and beauty in things, linguistic expression included. I wish him welL 


Manafltnft Director & F.ditor '. 






August 24, 
My dear Varadam, 

Yours of the 19th instant 

I have spoken to Krupanidhi, and he is willing to consider you as 
Correspondent at Hyderabad. He said that there was one Naidu appointed (not 
the editor of Golkonda, as you say),but he has notand is not writing. So, write 
to Krupanidhi, mentioning me, and I will further pursue the matter here. Send 
him a fall statement of your credentials, f or I mentioned your experience in 
the State and in journalism and public life. 

I would wait a little longer about writing to Jehu. He has just arrived in 
India. Actually, if you get INDIAN NEWS CHRONICLE, the proposition 


would become easier, for Dalmia owns both these papers. 

Thanks for DAILY NEWS , which published my first despatch, and sent 
the paper. You ask the Editor to write to me a formal letter incorporating the 
terms. I am sending him today directthe cuncnt week's despatch. 

You have not written to me the name of the Editor of the Orient News 
Agency, and his address. This is essential. 

With good wishes, 

Yours sincerely, 

. *, r, *> r* . 

A.V. Rajeswara Rao Esq. M. A. 


;6 "&SS >tfo)oCPC&. n"o<rt& DiT 2> 


A*V, Rajeswara Rau, MA. 

There is no gainsaying the fact that People's Government cannot be 
progressive unless it is constantly in touch with the people. The problem is 
a complex one, and one that could not be explained away in one column of 
print. Mr. A.V, Rajeswara Rau, a seasoned journalist, who had been con- 
nected with War andFoodpublicity and public relations in various capacities 
has presented a clear picture that would be of interest to our readers. - 

In a democratic government, the ultimate test of success of its policies 
depends entirely upon the approval of its citizens. If this approval is to be 
offered without reserve, not only must the various services of the Govern- 
ment waik satisfactorily but information as to the activities of the govern- 
ment must widely be disseminated and citizens' interest aroused. 

Any government which seeks to have its policies on the lasting founda- 


tions of popular welfare, the policy of taking public into confidence, cannot 
be ignored. 

It is common knowledge that as their functions expand officials become 
more and more absorbed in the technical aspects of their tasks. If self- 
government is to endure and democratic practices be maintained, it behoves 
those carrying on the responsibilities of Government to take timely and 
systematic precautions against this affliction. The Businessman very often 
complains that the Government meddles with his activities without the expert 
knowledge that is necessary for his success. He finds the official sadly 
lacking in experience which is necessary for promoting enterprise. With, 
equal truth, the official complains that the businessman is too much im- 
mersed in his narrow private enterprise that he is unable to see the larger 
scheme of things; and that he lacks courage and co-ordination. It is very 
necesssary that there should be an agency to bring about a realisation of 
common interest and to co-ordinate their activities. This is no other than the 
Department of Public Relations. 

In the ultimate analysis , the people are the best and the most trust -worthy 
as judges of what is conducive to their welfare. It is not so easy to ascertain 
the various trends of public opinion. Usually what generally passes for public 
opinion is the opinion or set of ideas assiduously propagated by a vocal, 
intelligent and well organised minority. 

In a country like India, thedanger from pressure groups of thiskindis very 
great and the Government should not piously sit for a spontaneous outburst 
of popular approval or disapproval at a future date but must devise ways and 
means of assessing the amorphous public feeling struggling to express itself. 

This can be done by: (a) large scale organisation of people's committees 
(b) administrative units collecting, classifying and co-ordinating all the 
information available; and (c) to form a comprehensive picture of the needs 
and desires of the people. 

TTie public Relations worker will encounter a number of difficulties such 
as the complexity of modern government and the indifferent attitude of the 
general public. To these will have to be added, lack of appreciation, lack of 
funds, difficulty in maintaining impartiality, difficulty in persuading public 
that public relations is not propaganda, but an honest and sincere attempt to 
establish sound and proper relations with the public. 

There is not just 'the public", but a number of them whose range of 
interests are wide and whose needs and demands are varied. Any programme 
of public relations must take into account the need for devising different lines 
of activities. It is also necessary that the programmes must be based upon the 
presentation of information which flows directly from the records of the 
agency concerned. Unless it has the full impress of authority, no information 
supplied win readily meet with the approval of the general public. There is 

so much competition that governmental agencies* presentation should be as 
effective &s those of its rivals, llicns is a general tendency to place reliance 
on more or lew formal method!*. It is an important aspect of public relations 
that personal contacts should be established at every stage, 

A Public Relations officer must always be accessible to visitors, must 
readily accept invitations to social functions must hold press conferences to 
enable him to answer questions ami clear doubts by a direct approach and 
personal explanation. In the sphere of polities it gives him opportunities of 
political contacts and informal lobbying, 

A Public Relations Officer stands between the responsible administrator 
and the public spokesman. He can play the part of a counsellor or a liaison 
officer, ami be candid and detached in his views and dealings. He will thus 
be nearer the public than a "sundricd bureaucrat* 1 can ever hope to be and will 
also be abte to exert a salutary influence on the Government officials in the 
matter of adjusting themselves to suit changing circumstances. 

('Deccan Chronicle', ... 1949) 



y 00026. ^tfo ^olof ^o*ou>o35. crtjtS 

e ooaod 6A6 ^DbcK^rA. a 



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. Ib 


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bfi "icb 606. e bfi 


1949 ff^ 

j, *t 



A. V.Rajeswara Rail, MA. 

"Peace," it has been said, "is the dream of the wise, war is the history of 
man." Human nature, always ready to transgress laws, delights to show that 
her passions are ungovernable and that she is stronger than justice. For, how * 
otherwise was a clash of arms necesssary to make the Nizam and his crazy 
advisdrs see reason? How could Hyderabad, a land-locked State in the very 
heart of the Indian Union, convert itself into a sovereign theocratic State 
based upon a six percent muslim minority? But that was the dream of the 
advisers of the Nizam and it had to be ended. 

At the first contact with realities, all resistance collapsed. The military 
operations were a five days' wonder. With the appointment of Maj,~Gen. 
Chaudhury the first phase ended and the gulf across which interminable 
negotiations with the Nizam were carried on was definitely closed. 

There was nothing millitary about the administration of Maj.-Gen. 
Chaudhury. He simply initiated the second phase of restoring order in the 
State. For fourteen months he laboured with single-minded devotion to root 
out the fanatical Razakars and has succeeded. The methods that he adopted 
towards this end were more conciliatory than ruthless. Critics were not 
lacking who pointed out the many flaws in his administration but, looking 
back at these fourteen months, we cannot but feel that the New Hyderabad 
that be has left is full of a new hope 'and a new self-confidence. But 
communist gangsterism still remains although its further growth has been 
arrested to some extent. 

Mr. M.K. Vellodi has been chosen at this critical juncture to undertake the 
heavy burden of being the Chief Minister of Hyderabad. His appointment 
comes close upon the latest Firmanof the Nizam announcing the accession 
of his State to the Indian Union. 

What manner of person is Mr. Vettodi? 

Mr. Mullath Kadungi Vellodi, is a son of the wealthy and cultured 
Zamorin of Calicut, and was born on January 14, 1896. He had his early 
education at Zamorin College and later graduated from Presidency College, 
Madras. At the age of 25, he joined the Indian Civil Service and served his 
home province for over a decade and a half, in various capacities as Collector 
andDistrictMagistrate, SpecM Sem^^ 

and Secretary to the Orissa Government, first in the Education Department 
and later in the Revenue and Development Departments for over two years. 
His quiet dignity and administrative efficiency were soon recognised by the 
Government of India who appointed him as Price Advisory Officer. From 


1942 lie was Export Trade Controller (Bombay) until he became Textile 
Commissioner in 1945. In November 1945, Mr. Vellodi was sent to London 
as Deputy High Commissioner to the Government of India and after two 
years was made High Commissioner. During this period he did a big job in 
thoroughly overhauling and renovating the administrative set-up of the India 
House which was then a by-word for inefficiency and indiscipline* 

In September 1947 he attended the United Nations Assembly as Secre- 
tary-General to the Indian Delegation. He was also included in the delegation 
to the Security Council along with Mr. N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar. 

On his return from Lake Success Mr. Vellodi joined the External Affairs 
Ministry as Special Officer for liaison with the U.N. Commission on 
Kashmir. In 1948 he was appointed Secretary to the States Ministry. In this 
capacity he took an active part in (he historic task of territorial integration of 
the States under the guidance of Sardar Vallabhbhai PateL 

Thus for years he has assisted at the councils of the nation. He has held 
office in many administrations and in many capacities. He has been praised 
by men of all parties and persuasions. His manners are easy and in conver- 
sation he radiates a charm which makes you feel quite at home in his 
presence. He talks little but always to the point. He has the knack of pairying 
an awkward question with a witty remark that helps to keep himself and his 
visitors in good humour. 

Even a casual observer cannot fail to notice that he dislikes particularly 
two qualities, intrusiveness and cocksureness. His irony, when unkind, is 
usually provoked by the exhibition of one of these characteristics, 

Mr. Vellodi as Chief Minister of Hyderabad presides over a cabinet of 
picked men selected under advice from the States Ministry. This might, at 
first sight, seem to be a rebuff to the State Congress which has been 
clamouring for a popular government. This is perhaps a move initiated by the 
far-seeing and sagacious chief of the "States Ministry, Sardar Vallabhbhai 
Patel, and yet another warning to the leaders of the State Congress to close 
up their ranks. 

It is true that the Congress organisation in the State is riven by internal 
dissensions, some of them personal which could be composed, some of them 
ideological which could be cleared up. But the main difficulty in the path of 
unity does not lie here. The leaders of the State Congress are victims of 
historical circumstances rather than ideological or personal preferences. The 
ramshackle structure of the Hyderabad State was kept going under the 
benevolent protection of an imperial power, and its despotic feudal overlord 
was allowed to reign in pomp over a people reduced to serfdom by the 
rapacious Jagirdars and Deshmukhs. During those dark days, the State 
Congress fought bravely for the dispossessed and dumb millions in the State. 

1 4 

Its record of sacrifice compass favourably with that ofthc parent organisation 
in British India. After the Police Action, there was a radical, almost a 
revolutionary change in the outlwk of the State Congress leaders. They 
could no longer think of Hyderabad in isolation. The three linguistic groups 
began working with their loyalties divided between the State and the 
contiguous districts in independent India. Hyderabad is no longer a State 
bound by a common linguistic or cultural tie or even a common fear of the 
despot. It is a medley of groups each anxious to integrate with a larger 
neighbouring community of which it is a ntural part. The idea of making the 
Nizam a Rajapramukh will not evoke the slightest enthusiasm in the people, 
On the contrary it may bring about a minor upheaval. 

There is then the question of combating Communist violence. This is not 
a malady that affects Hyderabad alone. It is an All-India problem, nay, a 
global problem. The Communists are supposed to draw their inspiration from 
a world-wide movement with its centre in Soviet Russia. But the Indian 
Communists are aqueer lot. Judging from their latest policy and programme, 
they are like the Chinaman who burned his house down to taste the delights 
of roast pork. It is not as though they would stop burning their houses if other 
fires were provided to roast their pork in* They are a fanatical lot obedient to 
their leaders. The Prime Minister was right when he characterised the Indian 
Communists as a nuisance. But they can be a dangerous nuisance at times. 
Too much publicity is being given to their violent ways today in the pniss and 
on the platform. Instead of alienating the sympathy of the public for them, it 
is helping to generate a kind of panic in the peaceful section of the 
community. The Communists are motivated by a blind faith that they are 
crusaders of a world movement. Only a counter movement can be an 
effective answer. Half-hearted land reforms and fullthroated speeches 
promising better conditions in a distant future will not be enough. The pace 
for clearing up the agrarian mess in Telangana must be quickened. Large 
masses must be re-assured by practical measures, that they are participants 
in a vast field of constructive social endeavour to improve their lot. To rely 

merely on propaganda and the strong arm of the Government is to court 

Mr. Vellodi enters the State when these and many other important and 
highly controversial questions in the Field of domestic policy await decision. 
In this he has a right to expect the whole-hearted support of the political 
parties in the State. Political democracy will not be a reality unless the 
distinction between "party politics" and serious political thinking is broken 
down. Men of judicial calm and unswerving intellectual integrity like Mr. 
Vellodi can bring an unbiassed mind to the discharge of their duties and help 
the democratic process. 


Mr. Vellodi will be no more rubber stamp for administrative measures 
but can be relied upon to bring his own independent judgment to the solution 
of the major questions of the day and the State will profit from his broad 
adminstrative experience and his realistic liberalism. 

('Swatantra', December 17, 1949) 

The Hindustan Newspapers Ltd. 


Sjt, S.K. Patil 


Sjt B.A. Khimji 

Sit P.M. Chinai Akhil Bharat Bhavan 

Sjt Dahyabhai V. Patel 341, Tardeo, Bombay-7. 

Managing Director. 1 1th July 1950. 

My dear Shri Vellodi, 

This is to introduce Shri A.V. Rajeshwara Rao, I believe you know that 
he is working as the Publicity Officer of the Hyderabad State Congress and 
is also d^ng a little work for our newspapers. 

When I was in Hyderabad I spoke to you about the question of purchase 
of tractors by Hyderabad State. Besides the matter I mentioned to you, I now 
understand that some tractors rejected by the Government of Madias are 
supposed to have been dumped upon Hyderabad by interested persons. I am 
just passing this on to you for your information. 

With kindest regards, 

The HonWe Shri M.K. Vellodi, I.C.S., Yours sincerely, 

Chief Minister, 
Hyderabad Government, 


od coc 

# a/!o<3. 

T. S. N*laka&t*a 

ft. V. 


Pi C. 




(Prop:-Tlie Bdiar JournaH U4 


._ _ . iBk 


POST BOX Ho. 43, 

P AT $ A. 

December 29,1949 



will get a press summary from me. 

I have been hearing about you.... your Rixxt fortunes and bad, 

Yours Sincerely, 
Yours 3-lnjCerely, 


AHwri V, Rijeiwiur* Rau Kiq., EDI TOR . 

Hydertbtti Journalist! Conference, 

103, \kx*ndrRo*<J, 

Ix>iHl<m Calcutta 





I*" It 

6th February 1950, 

Dear Mr. Rajeswara Rau* 

Let me introduce to you Mr, Curran, who is a scholar of the Institute of 
Pacific Relations of the United States* Mr. Curran is now in India studying 
Indian political problems and he is starting on a tour of the country to meet 
people and to understand various points of view. He wanted me to suggest the 
name of somebody who would talk to him frankly and give him an impartial 
appraisal of the situation in Hyderabad, I know that conditions in Hyderabad 
are difficult but you can rest assured that whatever you tell Mr, Cuiran will 
be treated as in confidence and will not be made use of in any manner except 
perhaps for understanding the situation in your part of the country. 

With kind regards. 

Yours sincerely 

Shri A,V, Rajeswara Rau, 

Sec. All Hyderabad Journalists' Conference, 

King's Way, Hyderabad. 


J.A. Curran Jr. 

Research Associate, Institute of Pacific Relation 

Percy's Hotel, Secunderabad. 
Mr. A.V. Rajeswara Rau, 
Representative, Bharat of Bombay, 
Poorna Pictures, 
3231-King's way, 

Secunderabad. February 1 1,1950. 

Dear Mr, Rau, 

I don't know how to thank you for your great help of the last three days. 
Thanks to you I do believe I have gotten a start as to what the picture in this 
part of the Indian Union looks like. Next time I come here I will also, thanks 
to you, know various people to contact and will be in a good position to 
commence a real study of what are the important facets in the political seen 

Thanks again Mr. Rao for your unbelievable kindness and unselfishness 
to a stranger from a distant country. If you should get to Delhi next September 
and October, be sure to look us up at Maiden's and I will be glad to be of any 
service that may help you. * 

Also kindly thank your good friend Mr. Nageshwar Rao for his kindness 
to me while I was here. 
You're both two wonderful gents. 
Hoping you're well, and looking forward to seeing you again. I am, 


^C A Pi f" 
NRIOM H . VAt-rvou, A f . 

*[Varada Rajeswara Rau's friend RJVageswara Rao (film star)] 

1 III 






Portrait Gallery 


From A Special Correspondent 
/A. V. Rajeswara Rau] 

The Hyderabad legislature is the miniature of the Indian Parliament In 
it we find a blend of the North and the South, a curious mixture of conflicting 
ideologies and a virtual cultural confluence. Six languages, English, Hindi, 
Urdu, Marathi^Telugu and Kanarese, are spoken on its floor. The Assembly 
represents four political parties and a host of Independents, 

The strength of the House is 175; but there are only 170 members with 
five by-elections pending. Having annexed 93 seats, the Congress has an 
absolute majority* The Opposition includes 33 members of the People's 
Democratic Front, 11 Socialists, 10 Peasants and Workers, five Scheduled 
Caste members and 13 Independents. A new bloc under the banner of the 
United People's Party came into existence during the recent session with a 
membership of 36 belonging to the Opposition, 

To the members and the public the experience-it was new and exhilarat- 
ing-of democracy, was the first of its kind. The experience, in the initial 
stages, led to interesting episodes. A Bill on sale of commodities was moved 
and later found to be inconsistent w ito ^ 

Instead of being gracefully withdrawn, the Bill was referred to a select 
committee for consideration! Within three days of a Bill having gone through 
the House in all its stages, an amendment was sought to be moved. When the 
budget was presented, the Minister had to use the proof copy and neither the 
members nor the Press were supplied with copies. 
The Speaker 

Mr. Kashinathrao Vaidya, Speaker, and Mr. B. Ramkrishna Rao, the 
Chief Minister, are, so to say, the long and short of the Hyderabad Assembly. 


Mr. Vaidya's upright figure and pleasing countenance command respect 
Although he is new to parliamentary practice, he has exhibited a good grasp 
of the intricacies of his work and his responsibilities. 

The leader of the House, Mr. B. Ramkrishna Rao, though diminutive in 
size, is the dominating personality in the Assembly. In eloquence and debate 
he has no equals. Policies and programmes are evolved on the floor of the 
Assembly in the course of his speeches. He talks to keep everybody guessing 
and probably to please everyone. He never gets irritated nor resorts to 
obloquy to hurt his adversaries. Unfortunately, he is indecisive; his pleasing 
utterances lead us nowhere. He speaks in more than six languages and is at 
a decisive advantage during the question -hour. His reply to the Communists 

on the Telengana issue and his unfinished analysis of the Osmania University 
problem evoked sincere admiration even from the Opposition. He is social, 
jovial and freely accessible. 

Mr. D. G. Bindu, who is in charge of Home Affairs, has the figure and 
the look of a Minister. He is simple but commanding with his detached 
outlook on life. His replies are marked by sincerity and determination. He is 
the strong man of the Cabinet and an intellectual among politicians. He is 
'moderate in exercizing power, not equitable in engrossing it. 1 

The Commerce Minister, Mr. Vinayakrao, has developed intrepidity 
from his long association with the Arya Samaj. He is dull and devoid of 
colour in debates. 

Mr. Phoolchand Gandhi, the Education Minister, is known for his 
frankness and for his occasional irrelevant outbursts in the House. His 
approach to problems is not always broad-minded or positive. 

Ruent in speech but rather faulty in expression is the Labour Minister, 
Mr. V.B.Raju. He belongs to that class of politicians who appear to know 
something about everything. He is the Confucius and the Karl Marx of the 
Congress Party. The interests of labour are quite safe in his hands. 

Dr. Melkote, the Finance Minister, does not seem to find himself at home 
in economics. Barring public finance, he can talk at length on any topic. Since 
he is entitled to read out a printed statement, he overcomes a larger part of the 
ordeal. His replies to the discussion on the budget showed his lack of 
familiarity with the subject. Unwittingly he makes commitments creating 
difficulties for the Government. 

The Excise Minister, Mr. Ranga Reddy, is the grand old liberal of State 
politics. He speaks with caution and conviction. He is respected for his 
strength of character. 

Dr. Chenna Reddy is a changed man since he became the Supply 
Minister. He was once a problem child of the Pradesh Congress. He is now 

a little grown up and looks responsible. His hoarse voice and his rather 
irritated expression do not make for cheerfulness. Young and energetic, Dr. 
Reddy suffers from a parochial view of things. 

Mr. Jagannathrao Chanderki, the Law Minister, is a promising young 
parliamentarian. The Local Self-Government Minister, Mr. Anna Rao, is 
unassuming and speaks slowly with good reasoning, Mr. DevisinghChauhan, 
who is entrusted with Rural Reconstruction, has not been very active in the 
Assembly. The Harijan Minister, Mr. Shankerdev's age and appearance 
hardly invest him with ministerial dignity. 

The P.W.D. Minister, Nawab Mehdi Nawaa Jung, who refuses to wear 
khadi, comes in his own attire and talks as if he were addressing, a 
governmental committee. 

There are some figures in the Congress Party itself who have already 
made an impression as good parliamentarians and powerful debaters. Mr. 
Gopalrao Ekboti evokes admiration with his legal acumen. Mr. M. Narsing 
Rao's erudite speeches show his profound knowledge of the State's politico- 
economic structure. Among the younger elements. Mr. Konda Lakshman 
and Mr. Rajalingam have a bright future. Mr. Lakshman was dubbed by the 
Opposition as the fourteenth Minister when he overshot the mark and asked 
for notice during a debate. 

The People's Democratic Front leader, Mr. V.D. Deshpande, is vigilant 
and takes the Treasury benches unawares by his points of order. His speeches 
are at times impressive. Mr, Raj Reddy and Shrimati Kamla Devi have 
proved an asset to the Front with their quickness in retaliation as well as in 

Mr. Annajirao Ghavane, the Peasants and Workers leader, who also 
leads the United People's Party, has, in spite or his university degree in law, 
a rustic appearance and is not very polished in speech. The Socialist leader, 
Mr. Rajaram, is the good boy of the Assembly. Neither his tone nor his temper 
seems to help him to reach the front rank. 

(The "Hindustan Times 

Sunday Magazine 1 ; 

New Delhi : Sunday September 21, 1952) 


Number One September 15, 1950. v v 

In this Issue: 

Congress Chiefs in Conference. 

Three Years of Independence. 

Our Ministers at Work. 

Lest We Forget. 
Reports from Districts. 

In a democracy, the responsibility of the people is greater than of the 

Government, for latter is of the people and therefore Government effort will 
be successful only when the people realise the need and are conscious of the 
discharge of responsibility. 

Democracy is itself a guarantee of the people's undivided sovereignty and 

sovereignty or power is more or less synonymous with responsibility 

State Congress President 
in his broadcast to the people 
on 15th August 1950. 
Issued By The Hyderabad State Congress 


Jt % Jt 4? / 




The Labour Commissioner, 

Government of Hyderabad, 



C/o, Hyderabad State Congress, 

Sultan Bazar, Hyderabad. 

Subject; Training of Trade Union Workers. 

Dear Sir, 

With reference to your letter No, .,_ _ dated _ . I am 
herewith enclosing a copy of the time table for your information. As desired 
the timings of the lectures have been fixed to suit your convenience. 

Tine classes will be held at the P.W.D. Secretariat Hall (Mint Com- 
pound) from 25th October, 1950. 

After completion of lectures you are requested to kindly prepare the 
question papers on your subject to be answered in one hours time. 

The opening ceremony is being held on 24th October 1950 and an 
invitation is being sent to you separately. 

Yours faithfully, 

Asst Labour Commissioner. 


XA. Cut-ran, Jr 

2 Montague Tenace 

Brooklyn 2, N,Y, 

June 6, 1951. 

Mr* A.V. Rajeswara Rau, 
C/o. Hyderabad State Congress, 
Hyderabad, India 

Dear Rajeswara Rau, 

Hope that all goes well with you. You are probably suffering from the hot 
season at this point, although I do hope that you have been able to take some 


rest in a cooler spot. 

Work goes on here at a great rate. Have been able to accomplish a good 
deal so far but much remains to be done. I do hope that by the end of the year 
things can be arranged so that we can get back to India for another stay. Much 
of my activity these days has centered around work that has concentrated on 
trying to explain to interested groups here in the east coast the main trends of 
Indian public opinion. A great deal of time has gone into an effort to explain 

and to emphasise the tremendous desire among Indians for independence of 
action both internally and externally. Americans as you know are becoming 
increasingly aware of and interested in India and what she is going to do. 
Although there is a good deal of criticism of Indian foreign policy among our 
press and among a certain percentage of public opinion, many people and an 
increasing section of the press are beginning to take a more realistic 
viewpoint, a viewpoint that wants as much information on India as possible, 
so that we in the States will back the properpolicies, policies that both Indians 
and Americans can agree upon. It will take time but I do think that things will 
work out in time. 

How goes things with you? If you do get the chance please drop me a line. 
It would be nice hearing from you. When you get the chance please give my 
best regaids to Mr. Bindu, Mr. Ramchandra Rao, Mr. Raju and Mr. Desai. I 
do hope that they are all well and that affairs are progressing to their liking, 

Enclosed are some pictures taken during the trip we made when last we 
were in your part of the country. Hope you like them. 

Hoping that you are well, I remain, 




J.A. Quran, Jr. 


[1950 ff* 'T 


"Said the Sardar" 




Nov 20, 1950 
My dear Varada, 

... but this is the pitiable financial condition at the moment. 
I see that you are making a gallant effort to get into some established journal, 
You have all the qualifications and friends in high quarters but are dogged 
by bad luck all through. I hope it will all turn out well soon. Iswara Dutt and 
his son also are it seems in the Hindustan Times. I do not know on what terms, 
if at all, you will be taken. Make sure you have an honourable even if a 
humble place 

You must be having a strenuous time both mentally & physically in your 
present situation. I am anxious that you should make every effort not to lose 
your hold on the fundamentals of life. You are by nature capable of high 
endeavour and have the necessary equipment which you must of course 
constantly replenish. Do not lose faith in yourself. Let not the essential 
refinement of your nature suffer through the ugly turns of fortune. Your 
literary bent requires assiduous cultivation whatever unfavourable circum- 
stances confront you at present. You may be making all kinds of compro- 
mises now but a time will come when you can live on your own terms if only 
you are true to yourself all through. So always aim at the best. Above all else 
take the greatest care of your health .... 
we are all well. 

Yours affectionately 

[Abburi Ramakrishna Rau] 

3)odaS><!T SS^o/T atfjfiSj 3Sj5|T 



Lucknow, Nov, 23 

Mr. M. ChaUipaihi Rau, President of the Federation of Indian Working 
Journalists, has nominated the following to form the National Executive of 
the Federation: 

Messrs. Banarsi Das Chaturvedi (Vindya Pradesh), N. Raghunatha Aiyar 
(Madras), A.C. Bali (Punjab), MV. Sane (Bombay), K. Rama Rao (Bihar),. 
Hukumchand Narad (Madhya Pradesh), Jang Bahadur Singh (Delhi), M. 
Harris (Bombay), Poorna Chandra Jain (Rajasthan), K, Iswara Dutt (Delhi), 
C. Parameswaran (Travencore-Cochin), Nandalal Aish (Punjab), A.V. 
Rajeswara Rao (Hyderabad), SrikantThakur (Bihar),C,S. Mahapatra (Orissa), 
K.S . Rarnas warn i (Madras), Tarachand Gupta (Pepsu), A.K. Ganguli (Delhi), 
C. Himkar (West Bengal), CV, Hanumantha Rao (Madras), S. Patwardhan 
(Madhya Pradesh), U.G.Rao (Bombay), T. Fernandez (Delhi, Treasurer), 
J.P. Chaturvedi (Delhi, Secretary), Jwala Singh (U.P. Secretary). 

Mr. Chalapathi Rau was authorised by the recent All-India Convention 
of Working Journalists to nominate a provisional executive to carry on the 
work of the Federation. UPL 

(The Hindu, Saturday, November 25, 1950). 

Working ] oumalists' Organisations 


President : 
Mr. JV!. Chalapathi Hau. 

Secretaries : 

Mr. Jvvala 5Uh, (Lucknow). 
Mr. J. P. Clialurvedf, (New .Delhi). 

Treasurer : 
Mr. T. Fernandez, (New Delhi). 


Oct. 8, 1951, 

Klscrl>ngh, tucknow. , , , ,', 

My dear Rajeswara Rau, 

I write to thank you for your letter dated September 19. 1 am extremely 
sorry for this delay. I thank you and other members of the Hyderabad union 
for asking me to preside over your session. But I am afraid it will not be 
possible forme to get away to the next few months. It will also not be feasible 
to convene a meeting of the federal executive committee at Hyderabad, as 


most members feel that they have been already, a bit, financially bitten on 
account of the work of the federation. The problem of funds remains and I 
hope it will be possible for you to do something about it. In any case, I would 
suggest you should keep in touch with Mr. J.P. Chaturvedi, secretary-general 
of the federation, 15 Windsor Place, New Delhi, about holding a session of 

the federal executive in Hyderabad, if not now, some time later. There are 
two vice-presidents and even if I shall not be available, one of them can 

With regards, 
Yours sincerely, 

A.V. Rajeswara Rau Esq., 
12, Gulbagh, Hyderabad. 

1 20 




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(Fantastic nonsense). SarDS, :& a^d&off* (Sd^eo Stffc g*^o. (In the 
matter of corruption the Opposition parties are infinitely worse) 

"Mister! I am only angry with your question, not 

with you." 

28, 1991) 




















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e(S, L fi corgpoff' 

Madras is the same as Vizag, may be a little magnified. There is the same 
sea where we continue to count the pebbles, khaki here is not the less 


attractive or the less expensive, wind and rain, Sun or shadow pose for us the 
same problems. Our superb gestures of frustration and despair preserve all 
their classic austerity. In long lone lanes the same whispers are heard, 
metamorphosed as thunder in reverberation. 



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unknown woman 

Stefan Zweig. 


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JUrOj VSbatfoaoa- TrfjfoS'6 4 

o-!ba Letter from an 


Stefan Zwieg 



*S> Xbo^lb 

"True repentance twenty four hours 

tdcSr ^j^p^) (- 3rff 5.1.1953.) 


f i)/ 


['fief ioesS"> f 

" L J Waltair 

May 15, 1953. 

My dear Varada, 

your letter has come as a ray of light in the gloom that has been deepening 

round me for some time. 

... Your appointment has come as a birthday gift for me. I shall be 

completing 57 on the 20th inst. 

I shall try to send the list of books on [public relations] in about a week 

or so. Yours affectionately 

(Abburi Ramakrishna Rau) 


Sis? 2*0 




... From today I will be very busy. Don't be too sentimental on account of 
my unavoidable absence. I have been struggling all my life for a place in this 
world. I feel I am just beginning to succeed in that struggle. Bear with me in 
these moments of my transition and we shall be happy for years to come. 
Sometimes I feel that you have not seen life as much as I have seen. The 
course of life is so uncertain that we should all the more be careful. We will 

have to work hard and strive to achieve, what is really due to us. We are 
partners in that task. 

P.S. : We are leaving here on 25th evening. Will you arrange good coffee 
and tiffin at Rajahmundry for the mail? Hindu, Desai and Dr. Chenna Reddy 
will be with me. 





























Sri Janardan RAO Deiai 


Sri B. Ramakrishna. Rao. 

CA/e/ Minister 
Sri D. G. Bindu 

Home Minister 

Hawaii Z*ln Yor Juiig Bahadur 
Sri Mukundas* Mohanlal Malanl 


19th June, 1953. 

Dear esteemed and respect Doct**, 

The Democrat will be the latest addition to Indian journalism devoted to 
research into the concept of democracy in its varied aspects. The journal is 
being published on behalf of the Gandhi Bhavan Trust 

The Gandhi Bhavan Trust is a non-political institution engaged in 
constructive activity. It has its own building raised at an estimated cost of 
seven lakhs of rupees. The building at present houses the offices of several 
institutions working in various spheres of National reconstruction. 

The Board of Trustees will be grateful if you can kindly help us in our new 
endeavour by contributing an article to the inaugural number of the Demo- 
crat The first issue is expected to come out by the 1st of September, 1953. 
The subject may be "The Future of English in Indian Curriculum 1 *. 

With highest regards, 

Yours sincerely, 


Dr. M.R. Jayakar, 
Vice Chancellor, 
University of Poona. 

Eaipor in charge 


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28, 1955.) 

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Andaaka: By Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau. (Published by the Globe 
Traders, Guntur. Price Rs.l) 

This is a portion of the author's big work 'cherakalam'in which hedepicts 
in simple verse the evils of slavery, mental, moral and physical, through 
which Humanity is passing today. The fight against slavery is laborious, 
continuous and at times desperate, but the Sun of Freedom is seen in the 
horizon and Humanity passes on towards it with greater vigour and vilality. 
Off and on despair takes hold of the moble fighters but the ideal is inspiring, 
noble and great and it must be achieved, cost what it may. The verses are 


inspiring and effective, though some are tinged with despair. 

(The Hindu 1 , 7.8. 1955) 



oar 1 





All India Radio rKothagudem 

NO : Kot : 29(2) 92-PI/134 Dt: 15-09-92 

Sri Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rao, 
B-4/F-4, Bagh Linigampally, 
Hyderabad - 500 044. 

Dear Sir, 

We are pleased to inform you that we would like to reproduce and 
broadcast your excellent radio play "Muktayatra" (first produced & broad- 
cast C. 1954), the script of which is available in print in your collection of 
Plays, "Natyagoshthi - Nalugu Natakalu" (Pub. 1990) . 

Thanking you, 
Yours faithfully, 


(Sumanaspati Reddy) 
programme Executive for 

Station Director 

SbdS 3bot3 ^67? 

52300 - 

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D. Balagangadhara Tilak 
Brindavan (ejoc^a&ifco) 

Tanuku-W.GDt. Tanuku, 


My dear Mend, 

I am very sorry that I could not send you my poems as promised by me. 
Inf act I was called out of town on urgent business and returned to Tanuku 
only today and saw your letter. Hope you will excuse this delay, 
I am certainly sending my poems by tomorrow's post with out fail and you 
can expect them to reach you by 10-12-54 or 1 1th at the latest. 

Thanking you, 

Dear Varada, 3-2-55 

Aluri Byragi, 
No. 6, Upstairs, 
Bhagavatham Gupta St., 
T. Nagar., Madras- 17. 


Sri Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau, 

A/10-43 1, Himayatnagar, 


Nizam State Ry. Tenato 

Dear Mr. Varada, 







G. V. Krishna Rao. 

Sba Mcreo] 

foreign policy 




oj*, India's foreign policy !b<s ^>^o ooaooi)-6^a^cr. 



. A 10-431, 



The artist is the creator of beautiful things' - ed^ET^eg 

There is no such thing as moral or immoral book. Books are well written 
or badly written. That is all. 1 

The value of art is not beauty, but right action. 1 


"All art is quite useless.' 



^"5o2boO &PCP Sofe&eo/? 3&o. '3 

-All art is at once surface and symbol-those who go beneath the surface 
do so at thsir peril; those who readme symbol do so at their peril, 


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aa-jfioCfioeoa- frjflfo 

. 1954) 

[Kavita : Periodical: Anthology of Modem Telugu Poetry No. 2 Published 
by A. Chaya Devi, MA.,A-10-431 Himayatnagar, Hyderabad Re. 1-8- as. 

... In addition to the range of poets represented in the first issue of Kavita, 
several new names figure in this Second Number. Tilak, Kaviraj Murty , and 
Pattabhi delight one with their facile verse which has a unique freshness 
about it. Baudelaire andRimbaud-the savants, as well as Dylan Thomas and 
Emile Dickinson-the modems, are presented in faithful translation. There is 
also a good rendering of a poem by the well-known Hindi poet, Rama Dhari 

Of particular interest to the general reader as well as to the discerning 
critic is a discussion in v$rse between Varada and Arudra about the aims of 
the new venture in Telugu Letters. Current concepts of Beauty, Truth and 
Knowledge are analysed and the two poets seem to agree on the premise that 
the aim of great poetry is but the pursuit of Beauty, and even if the travail is 
great, the effort is worth it 

This anthology has sufficient variety to whet one's appetite for more 
fragments from the promising efforts of those who represent what is new in 
Telugu poetry. One cannot help, however, being rather vexed at the 
employment of foreign words in the midst of chaste Telugu to express a 
strange idea. It may be quite clever to use a French or a Hindi noun with a 
Telugu verb and make it rhyme with the previous end-syllable; it may be 
expressively-to those who know the significance of the foreign words; but, 
the acrobatic effect far surpasses the poetic value of the verse. 

A welcome feature is the filling up of tail-space with beautiful extracts 
from the work of earlier critics like CJR. Reddy and well-known Sanskrit 

Kavita has come to serve a very useful purpose and we trust that as the 
list of acceptable new writers of real merit increases with each issue, the field 
of poetic experience covered will ever widen. 

The Editor deserves our congratulations on the beautiful get-up of 
the anthologies. 

('Swatantra, February 19, 1955) 


To understand the real worth of this journal, we have to trace the literary 
history of Modern Telugu Poetry, which begins some forty years back with 
the memorable writings of Gurajada Apparao^ Rayaprolu Subbarao and 
Abburi Ramakrishna Rao. It marked the beginning of an era of romanticism 
in Telugu poetry and opened vistas of new literary thought. Endowed with 
creative energy and poetic talent, inspired by great poets like Shelley, Keats, 
and Tagore, the younger generation created classics of Romantic poetry. It 
culminated in the birth and contributions of "Sahithi Samithi". It also to some 
extent degenerated in the hands of lesser artists and created a sense of 
morbidity in the minds of the poetry-reading public. Yet, the cultural taste 
of Sivasankara Sastri, the felicity of phrase of Krishna Sastri, the fervour of 
Nayani SubbaRao, the sesquipedalian style of Viswanatha Satyanarayania, 
and the individualistic poetic traits of several other poets of the Romantic 
School are still remembered and cherished in the hearts of poetry lovers. 

Then, there was a thorough change in the poetic activities of the younger 
generation of poets, who rebelled against the ideals of Romantic Poetry and 
treaded a new path embracing Realism, Imagism, Dadaism and Sur-re^lism. 
Of the Realistic period there are three significant personalities, who are 
the orginators of this new 'genre' in the Telugu poetic world. Sishtla, Sri Sri 
and Naray ana Babu made valuable contributions and are the pioneers of the 
ultra-modern trend. Anumber of budding poets followed this movementand 
among them are poets who have written with power and imagination and 
developed a technique akin to that of the Auden School of Poets in the West 
"Kavita" abounds mainly in writings of these enthusiasts. If we can 
eliminate their politico-economic outlook, there is good poetry. There are 
also translations of Dylan Thomas, Baudelaire and Rimbaud. In this ultra- 
modern poetic world, there is yet much ground to be discovered, covered and 
illumined by therising generation. This journal entirely devoted to poetry is 
not only significant, but unique. The sponsors of this enterprise, Chaya Devi 
and Varada Rajeswara Rau, are to be congratulated on their venture in the 
service of the Telugu Muse, We hope lovers of Telugu poetry will make it 
their duty to patronise this journal. 

(The Hindu 1 , December 25, 1955.) 






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(230 5j*o flbekr-*. '^6T* y&>', "i. 186-187) 

dear Varada, 

arudra might have let you know I was discharged from the nursing home. 
Except for general physical weakness I feel now perfectly ok- 1 have yet to 
continue with daily injections till about the end of this month. 

Herewith a translation of one of Tristan Corbierre's poems. Hope I am in 
time for the next issue of Kavita. I may shortly send you an original poem of 
Do please drop a line in reply. 

10 Barlemore St, 



f 10540* 



21st May, 1954. 

I am glad to introduce this Monograph written by Shri A.V. Rajeswar 
Rau, an young and capable journalist whom I have known for some years. 
The booklet is an Introduction to Public Relations, a subject which is of vital 
importance for people concerned with successful evolution of Democracy in 
any State. 

The subject is as old as the conception of a State in human society. But 
as the author has very aptly put it, its content has been very much enlarged 
in the present context of complicated human relationship. 

It has become both a science and an art which all people concerned with 
Public Administration should master in a measure that will enable them to 
steer the ship of State through troubled waters. A large number of books is 
available on the subject of Public Relations, a subject which has been studied 
and discussed by many thinkers and authors specially in the U.S. A. 

There are many aspects of the subject which are peculiar to each country 
in its own context of political set-up, and the subject, Public Relations, in 
India might very well differ vastly and in many respects from the treatment 
of the same in other countries whose social and political structure is more 
complex and complicated. 

Nevertheless, the fundamental aspects of Public Relations in a demo- 
cratic set-up are mostly common, and a study of this subject in detail will be 

This Monograph claims and is a mere "introduction" to Public Relations* 
I congratulate the author in his attempt to introduce the subject to the public. 
I am sure it will stimulate interest among all those who feel interested in the 

B. Ramakrishna Rao 
Chief Minister. 

Nilkan Perumal Trichy Road 

April 5.1955, 
My dear Mr. Rajeshwar Rau, 

I am grateful to you for your kind letter and the publication on Public 
Relations job. I heartily congratulate you on your pioneering work on the 
subject. I have gone through the pages and found educative lines which 


enlightened me much. Indeed, you have taken so much pains to prepare the 
script as the Biolography shows, but then, my friend, ours is a country where 
new ideas are not easily accepted by the people or Government. I do hope that 
you will be able to soon publish your bigger work on the subject and if you 
do, you are doing a real service to the country. Please don't lose heart, simply 
because you meet with obstacles in doing good work. It is so everywhere, 
everytime. I write many books but don't find publishers: then, one day 
somebody turns up and takes the script unexpectedly... 

You may not be finding your Public Relations jobs easy, I guess, in a 
country where Editors and Radio folk don't understand anything modern. 
Our newspapers are out of date, and I see them not at all progressive. Reason: 
unfit chaps handle them, from top to bottom. Shall write more, later. 

Meanwhile, with my warmest wishes and thanks, 

Yours sincerely, 

An Introduction To Public Relations: 

By A.VJlajeswara Rau. Department of Information and Public 
Relations, Hyderabad. Telling the truth is more than an ethical principle; 
it is wise and expedient too. This is the burden of Mr. Rajeswara Rau's 
booklet on Public Relations which has a foreword by Mr. BJRamakrishna 
Rao, Chief Minister of Hyderabad In crisp language, free from ambiguity, 
Mr, Rajeswara Rau very lucidly describes the object and scope of public 
relations work. His distinction between public opinion on the one hand and 
mob passion and public sentiment on the other is noteworthy. He draws 
attention to the methods adopted in western countries to sound public 
opinion. The extensive bibliography he provides at the end of the book will 
be very useful to the reader intent on further study. 

(The Sunday Standard 3rd April, 1955.) 







[1954-55&* ' 






Balantrapu Rajanikanta Rao 
AU India Radio 


e*b - 

Date. 8.4.55 

creative faculty 



Dear friend: 

I am sending a few poems which I felt are eminently translatable into 
English for "Poetry Telugu 1 . It includes %oS5o6 && which you know, is 
one of my most cherished poems . I will be obliged if you can send a copy of 
the translations for my perusal before giving it to the press. You can make 
sure your own selection out of the recently published poems also (in Bharati, 
Swatantra etc.) if you so desire. 

Out of the bunch of poems I am sending you now, the poem 'ec&ava', 
though written a decade ago, is not yet published. So you can publish it in 
the coming issue of "Kavita'. There are of course, some poems which I am 
working upon now, but they are not finished as yet 

By the by, I am anxious to get personally acquainted with you, Ajanta and 
others. I am, in a way, immobile for the last ten years, and before that time, 
the new brand of poets have not yet sprung up to the surface. Our friends 
group used to consist of Padmaraju, Ganapaty Sastry, Anisetty etc. I will be 
only too glad to welcome you and other poet friends to Tanuku for a short stay 
at least while you are on visit to this side of Andhra. 

Ever yours, 

Balagangadhara Tilak 

P.S. I now see that my friend has copied the poem "3atf also for poetry 
Telugu. But this poem was published in a^cro(0 of Setti Eswara Rao with 
some changes and additions made to it If you can get a copy of the published 
poem, it is all the more better. MrJRajasekhar might have a copy of it with 

him -Tilak. 

Dear Varada, Dt: 26/4/55 

Received Kavita Vol. No. 2 and thank you for it. I am sending separate 
post 2 poems intended for publication in Kavita No. 3 . Also another 2 poems 
for translation into English as desired in your letter. 


shortness. If you find them not good, you can arrange translation of Manya 
Viplava' (Kalpana) or 'Rendu Lokalu' (kavita) or both. 

Only yesterday I contacted Mr. Das. He said he would be sending some 
poems this time for Kavita. 

Uma's unpublished poems are with Desiraju Krishna Saima. He may 
send if you or Mr. Subrahmanyam writes to him. I could not secure poems 
from him as he was suffering from fever for the last 10 days. Anyway better 
you write to him in the matter. 

Please convey best wishes to Mr. Subrahmanyam and tell him I will be 
coming to Hyderabad in a couple of months. 

Thanking you, 

Yours sincerely, 

Kundurti Anjaneyulu. 

M.V. Sastry, 


My dear Varada, 

Padmaraju was here a few days ago, and he left with the enclosure for 
being sent to you for publication in the Kavita. I did not have the address 
myself and it had to wait till after my pilgrimage to Vizag. 

I secured the back volumes from your father. I shall be glad to have them 
on my own hereafter regularly. Will you therefore give me the privilege of 
entering my name on the roll of your subscribers? The first copy may be sent 
to me by VPP or I shall remit on intimation. I am still looking forward to 
descending on you before you disintegrate! 

With heartiest greetings, 

Yours always, 











1*0 >wO 



Mi . 



^ 5 


onda Ramadas? 









M. R. College. 

Vizag Dist 

Dear Mr.Rajeswararau, 

I am indeed happy you propose to undertake this new venture of giving 
Telugu poetry countrywide publicity. It is a pity we never seem to receive 
recognition we deserve. I wish you all success! 

I am posting twenty translations in a day or two. I include all the authors 
you mention except Pattabhi - and several others whom we cannot neglect 
such as Krishna Sastri, Siva Sankara Swami, Pingali and Katuri and so on. 
There is also the oft quoted quatrain which describes Girika's Nose from 

I quite remember having done some Pattabhi poems but they have got 
mislaid and I have not been able to trace them. Please make do with the 
present titles and try to obtain renderings from others. 

I will do Pattabhi and whichever poets you would choose for your second 

You want a shot critical note on contemporary trends. As ill luck would 


But I did an essay some three years ago. There are bound to be some 
lacunae 1 in it, and what is worse, you may not be inclined to endorse some 
of the judgments crystallised. For instance I have devoted quite an amount 
of space to Srirangam Narayanababu. Many Mends do dub me idiosyncratic 
where this strong weakness for one of my intimates is concerned. Both the 
older and the younger generations would castigate this my preference, for I 
genuinely hold that he is one of our best poets though he has ceased writing 

these days. 

If you are agreeable to publishing the article as you find it, I should have 

no objection to sending it. You have full liberty to editorially express your 
own view, however strong, with little consideration for my feelings as 
English Editors do, or you may invite controversy. I amprqpared 
to take or meet criticism like a sport. So please write back if you want it I 
believe besides, that you will like some at least of the ideas expressed. But 

I am getting long-winded and so I leave it at that 

My greetings and, Hindu fashion, my blessings to your lady. 

I am, this very post, writing to your father also who seems to have 

developed a weakness for me. 

Hope to meet you at a not too distant date. 


Yours so very truely, 


P.S. I send my rendering of your father's N kapupata' which he has, of 
course, approved. 

RAppalaswamy, MA. 


MILCollege. Date^.6.1956 

Dear Mr Jtajeswararau, 

I am very sorry for the delay . It is a thousand fixties- the typist has typed 
certain tifleslneverwanted him to,and has nptyet completed the worklhave 
assigned him. Moreover, the fellow has not done the job to anything like 

I will send the rest of the poems soon enough. Of course, you will have 
Gurazada, Arudra, Viswanalha, Rayaprolu, etc. 

Do you think you could include an English poem of my own? There is no 


Expecting an early reply. 
Wish you success! 

Yours ever, 

Sept. 28, 1956 
Dear MrJRajeswara Rao, 

Your letter asking for permission to include some of my translations of 
Telugu poems. You may do so and you have my permission. 

But you have to take the permission of Madame Sophia Wadia, Secretary, 
the Indian P.E.N. "Aryasamgha", Malabar Hill, Bombay, as the copyright 
belongs to her. I think she will give the permission. 

I am glad to know about your undertaking and wish you success. 

Sincerely yours, 




My dear Varada, 

Sorry for my silence, am not keeping good health. Why not drop wfcoao 

*s&\ I am out of touch with Arudra. am printing a small collection of 
my poems in English. It is tided V THREE CHEERS TO M AN' and otherpoems. 
Shall send you introductory poem in a short while. 

Yours sincerely 

Sri Sri 


THE P. E. N. 



f RABINDRANATH TAGORE, PrnhW 1933-1041 ^ 
X SAROJINI NAIDU, PreiUkru, 1941-1949 / 

Honorary Members : 
Maulana Abut Kalam Azad 
Shri C. Rajagopalachari n L / 

October 9, 1956 
Shri A.V. Rajeswara Rau, 
Editor,Poetry Telugu, 


Dear Friend, 

I thank you for your letter of 5th October requesting permission to reprint 
some of the translations of poems from our publication, Telugu Literature 
by DrP.T.Raju, in your anthology Poetry Telugu. 

Yes, you have our permission with the request that you kindly give credit 
to the PJE.N. All India Centre. I note that Dr.Raju has already given his 

We shall look forward to a review copy of Poetry Telugu when 

With cordial greetings, 

Yours sincerely, 

Sophia Wadia 
Editor/The Indian PJE.N, 




For the last two months I am working round the clock. Not a breathing 

moment of respite. Herewith I am enclosing a poem from the French of 

Guiliaumme Apollinnaire Ad3ro a> 35" I have a half finished ajowfc ara*. 

Do you want it immediately, or can it wait for the next issue? I shall try to 


complete it soon. I am going to New Delhi for the Asian Writers 1 Conference. 
I have just published a small collection of my translations. How is life over 
there. Here it is too stuffy. 

Sincerely yours 

Sri Sri 


A. V. Rajeswara Rau 

THE modern movement in Telugu poetry which started at the beginning 
of this century had two voices. One of them while adopting the traditional 
metrical norms assumed the name of spectacular Romantic Revival and 
spoke with a mystical accent not entirely its own but partly borrowed from 
other literatures. It had all the refinement of language, the dexterity of 
weaving fine words, the sweetness of phrasing - the very qualities which 
made competent critics of earlier periods of Telugu poetry exclaim that the 
Telugu poets were not creators but artists, mere masters of the craft of 
language. The poets belonging to this school are the authors of a number of 
exquisite lyrics in the Telugu language. They have many adherents even 
today and have gained a wide reading public by their skillful use of linguistic 
egotisms and national particularisms: No language is sweeter than Telugu, 
no country greater than ours. The lyric quality of their poetry is doubled by 
the prestige of their patriotism . 

THE other voice, a more authentic one, was comparatively shortlived. 
The poets who represented this trend realised that the transfer of language 
from one generation to another was not a simple transfer of property. They 
knew that phonetic and semantic changes were not accidental but were 
necessary for the renovation and rejuvenation of a language. They experi- 
mented with new metrical forms of great simplicity and attempted to liberate 
the language of poetry from the shackles of hidebound tradition. They had 


a clearer vision and proclaimed that the mother country was not just a piece 
of earth but a community of minds. 

BEFORE these tendencies had time to consolidate their gains, there 
appeared on the scene a number of enthusiasts of the vers tibre. Centuries 
ago, when our classics were composed, the poet then was a passive witness 
to the struggle of mankind over nature. His world of imagination was 
circumscribed by innocense and faith. His was an age where everything was 
taken for granted. There was a perfect harmony of the inner dream of the poet 
with the external pattern. Time seemed to have moved slowly. Therefore, 
the form adopted by him for poetic expression was in accord with his 
preconditioned creative urge. There was not even a search for expression. 
Contact with life was already lost during the eleventh century with the 
movement for the revival of Aryan culture. The native literature was 
deliberately neglected and its style which was essentially rural in outlook, 
simple in structure and graceful in expression yielded to a new style that was 
artificial and complicated in form. No original work was produced through 
out this period except translations of the great Sanskrit epics. In due course 
spiritual disintegration had taken place around him . The poetic field then was 
so clear and compact that attempt at extending even the scope of subject 
matter for poetic treatment was not made. 

THE search for new forms started with our contact with Western 
literature. It was in the wake of crystallisation of human struggle against 
nature. Innocence was nowreplacedby experience. And this experience was 
a great revelation to the sensitive mind of the poet. He was disillusioned and 
utterly dejected with what was projected externally out of man's creative 
impulses. Waste Land is symbolic of this frustration of human spirit 
Although the spiritual frustration is not so deep among the Telugu poets, its 
impact is quite explicit. Some of them are concious of the catastrophic 
possibilities inherent in the human invention of the external and are envel- 
oped in despair. Adoption of vers libre or search for new forms, is not a mere 
desire for novelty. It is indicative of the spiritual unrest of the poetic mind. 
AMONG the votaries of the vers libre, there were some who having tried 
the traditional f onns with distinction, adopted this new mode in their search 
for a new feedom. They have produced poems of great beauty and created 
new rhythmic patterns which have come to stay. But there were far too many 
novices who lacked any metrical sense whatever. In time the Marxian 
levellers with their organised political hatreds and their championship of the 
dispossessed and the disinherited toilers, joyfully accepted this new mode of 
writing as it enabled them to arrange their newfangled ideas in irregular lines 
and call them poetry. One of the declared principles of vers libre was N to 
compose in the sequence of musical phrase, not in the sequence of metro- 


nome. 1 But pioneers in this line like Ezra Pound had the inflexible discipline 
of the professional artist and learnt the art of writing. 

ALONGSIDE these, the practitioners of the traditional epic and Kavya 
style still continue to write. Their mastery of language and mellifluous 
composition are held in high esteem by a fairly large reading public. Like 
handicrafts and heavy industry in New India, the old and the new jostle 
against each other through a period of flux and ferment. While old sanctions 
are declining, new ones have not firmly taken their place. 

TELUGU poetry is today in the throes of a crisis. It is because of a lack 
of proper assessment of spiritual values and aesthetic standards, of an 
improper contact with life and of a fictitious frame of mind that obstructs the 
inflow of knowledge which belongs to humanity at large. The poetic emotion 
is mostly artificial and not sincere. Telugu literary scene is now a sad 
spectacle of Occasional Poetry. It is also partly because of immature 
experience of our experiment with formal democracy. Brior to the achieve- 
ment of our country's independence, poets rose to fame, not on the basis of 
uncritical popular acclamation or official recognition but through a genuine 
appreciation of their work by a kindred soul. Individual poets are today 
boosted up in an organised manner for questionable motives while the real 
creative writer either gets disgusted with the literary climate artificially 
created around him, or retires to his cell of seclusion and frustration. 
Recently, the amazing suggestion was made that someone from among the 
modem Telugu poets should be proclaimed a Master Poet representing the 
language! This attempt at founding what may be called a new school of 
democratic aestheticism cannot provide an answer to the crisis in Telugu 
poetry. Only a new spiritual integration of society bringing with it a new 
equilibrium can herald the birth of a "great poet* representative of his age. 

November, 1956 


[Poems from 'Modern Telugu Poetry' 
(Translation of poems from 'Cherakalam')] 


The night you went that dying is far better than striving 

never a single star smiled that the swan song is the real haven 

a chill passed through the sky's spine 

and it emitted a lurid laugh; But you soon learnt 

but you did not know of life's tideless sea 

there was no such thing as death of death's certain demand 

that tomorrow is never the span of man 


speed of star 

and the secret tale of the 

evening's coming 
And the shade of the falling Sun in 

the dream 

kept your eyes wide open 
your soul floundering 
an Icarus in flames 
its cries smothered in deadened 


has no ears for the shouting light 
flutters its foundling wings 
flooding the sky with the waters 

of its agony 

the tide of its eyes breaking 
over the heart's rock of night 

(Translated by the Author) 


Walk by yourself 
Under the light of self-consoling 

Unconversing with the 

walking defeats 
Walk tireless 

Along streets straight and unreaching 
Do not lift the eyes 
At the reeling stars, unwatching 
The weeping sky's prayer 
Walk in search of unreached truth; 
And in the unlit paths of jungle 
Do not question in fear 
The pursuing voice of the wind 
*Who are you? Son or mother 

of the sea? 11 ] 

(Translated by R.CRaja Sekhar) 

Quick march O april fool 
The rear is so dreadful 
Eyes no longer young 
Are deaf in moonlight's song 
The blackness in the room 
Is glum is a dumb simoom 
Quick march O april fool 
The past it is so dreadful 

The past is quite dreadful 
Quick march you april fool 
This is the news cheap virtue 
Sells dear (a fact that hurts you) 
The earth is a whore is a witch 
She is open for sale for the rich 
And the masses who cares for 

the masses 
It is folly to write for the asses 

It's folly to write of the classes 
There'll always be sound 

of the brasses 

Plato and Vema are foolish 
To think is to stink so be mulish 
All men have lost direction 
All life is a hungry fiction 
So always be aprilly foolish 
"For Plato and Vema are mulish. 

(Translated by Sri Sri) 



Modern Telugu Poetry. Edited by A.CHAYA DEVI. (Kavita, 
Himayatnagar, Hyderabad. 49 pp. 1956. Rs. 4.50) 

I think it was that good but neglected poet, the late Sir William Watson, 
who wrote the following satirical couplet about the Celtic school of poetry 
as embodied, for example, in the early lyrics of WJB.Yeats: 

But how heroic to exist 
Exclusively on moon and mist! 

I was reminded of this when reading Modem Telugu Poetry, a pleasantly 
produced anthology published at Rs.4/8 by Kavita in Hyderabad and edited 
by A.Chaya Devi. The moon is the potent inspiration here (it figures in nine 
of the poems) with the lotus a distant runner-up. The editor in her foreword 
sensibly mentions that "translations, however true they may be, tend to 
sacrifice the native metric beauty and vernacular vitality" a truth which is 
patently obvious where Tagore'sEnglish translations are concerned Telugu 
poetry, it is stated in this foreword, "has its own problems; the climate of its 
imagery is far different from that of English poetry." But it is this imagery 
in Modern Telugu Poetry that I found most interesting. It varies from the 
conservative and Tennysonianly alliterative. 

In the still lake of sapphire, 

the full moon 

Like a swan saunters in a 

luxury of leisure 

to the almost Dylan Thomas-like wild lyricism in Varada's lines, 

/ the bastard of a bygone debacle 

I who bartered the wind in my throat. 

There are harsher examples, such as Varada's Oh Caesar of my scissored 
dreams!, and there are passages which have, to all intents and purposes, a 
Celtic touch. Both the following might have come out of Synge or Yeats (the 
first is by Sishtla and the second by Elchuri): 

Memory of nightfall, of darkness 

And of you my sweet-smelling man 


For in His night lies her darkened life 

And the night in his steps 

Pats her dishevelled head. 

("Dishevelled", incidentally, was a favourite adjective with Yeats.) 


It is the imagery then, rather than the themes themselves, that make these 
translations from modern Telugu poetry so readable. The pieces vary 
considerably in merit, but the level on the whole is commendable. 

One finds bathos and bad verse exemplified in Sri Sri's piece "Sadly the 

In sackcloth and ashes 

the moonlight anon 
sends down my spine 
a cosmic frission 

and outstanding lines in the modern idiom displayed in Kundurti's "The 
open drains are skirting our homes", which contains the striking couplet 

The guns are strutting in the streets 

The guns are att decked in their Sunday-best 

or mellifluence as in the climax of a poem by Ramadas 

And I hear a soft call in the dark 

Close behind me the doors of the world... 

"No language is sweeter than Telugu," says A.V.Rajeswara Rau, in his 
preface to this worthwhile volume. Sweetness, however, can easily degen- 
erate from the pleasantly honeyed to the blatantly saccharine. That it rarely 
does so here reflects great credit on the various translators who have 
contributed to Modern Telugu Poetry. 

(The Illustrated Weekly of India 1 , December 30, 1956) 

K.RJSrinivasa lyengar 

Modem Telugu poetry Recently "Sri Snathe well-known Telugu 

poet,brougftt out a slim volume, Three Cheers for Man, containing English 
versions of!2 of his poems. Now comes Shrimati Chaya Devi's finely 
produced Modern Telugu Poetry, comprising English rendering by divers 
hands from the work of 18 Telugu poets of today (or yesterday). 

The renaissance in modern Indian poetry has run more or less the same 
course in the different linguistic regions. The winter of the early-19th- 
century blight was also the time of cross-fertilization of the cultures of the 
West and toe East; and first came the sticky leaves of the new spring, to be 
intervened tiieFirst World War, the Second World War and there was the 
mounting tempo of the war of liberation, crowned at last by Partition and 
IiMfependenee in 1947. The past has tried to stifle the birth of the future; 
outside influences have threatened to overwhelm the indigenous; conformity 
and revolt have fought for the soul of poetry, and the world within and the 


world without have often shot apart, impairing the native harmony of poetry 
and damaging its ambrosial quality. However, poetry has marched onward, 
readily responding to the vicissitudes of our history and, in some measure, 
even giving a definition and direction to our national life. 

The Telugu country has been on the whole lucky in her poets and from 
Gurazada Apparao, who sounded the first authentic notes of the new spring, 
to the youngest Ajanta, Nanduri, Arudra and Dasaradhi there has been a 

continuity of poetic talent, if no hard continuous tradition as well. Chaya 
Devi has given within the limitations of the available space fair representa- 
tion to this opulence of modern Telugu poetry. Gurazada rightly leads the 
contingent, and is followed by some of the figures Abburi, Royaprolu 
Subba Rao. Krishna Sastri, Viswanatha Satyanarayana who made the 
decades between the wars a period of great promise and no mean achieve- 
ment "Sri Sri" and the Surrealists the poets of revolt, the verse-librists , the 
futurists follow, and a harsher note is heard, the song is lost in the hiss and 
the rhythm is twisted in the gesture of protest "Sri Sri" writes the elegy of the 
nameless, the mass of men and and women who strive and suffer and die: 

And what shall their spent lives glean? 

Whirlwinds of badness and madness! 

Whirlpools of Death's final sadness! 

And Varada (translation by "Sri Sri'*) almost screams out his irritations 
and disgusts: 

The earth is a whore is a witch 

She is open for sale for the rich.... 

AM men have lost direction 

Att life is a hungry fiction... 

The "leftists" have in turn been followed by the neo-classicists, the 
torchbearers of tradition Nanduri, Jandhyala, Joshua, Sriramulu Reddy 
but these do not figure in Chaya Devi's book. The "waste land," having lain 
fallow for a while and hot air having blown enough over it, must be cultivated 
after all, however slender the prospects of a rich harvest The "waste lands" 
are being cultivated all over the world, and why should it be otherwise in 
India, or in the Telugu country? 

Poetry by its very nature is untranslatable. Ideas can be transplanted from 
language to language, but poetry is the idea touched with the magic of phrase 
and incantatory music. Competent translation can, however, play the good 
broker between the reader and the poet, and surpassing the mere prose of 
statement can give intimations of the poet's sovereign utterance. Good 
translation can create trust, and it can stimulate interest Judged by these 
considerations, Modern Telugu Poetry is a meritorious venture and deserves 
a ready welcome. (The ^^ pJLN , ? Septeml)er 1957) 




September 14, 1957 
Dear Shrlmati Chayadevi, 

Thank you very much for the book 
of modern Telugu pOBtry which you have sent 
me through Mrs Heda. 

We in the N o rth have been so 
utterly cut off from the literature of the 
South. I am glad now that the works of 
poets and writers are going to be 
your well known as these will open out new 
fields of enjoyment for us and will help 
in strengthening the unity of the Country. 

Yours sincerely, 

(Indira Gandhi). 


1956 &* 

4 A, Ramabhadra Raju Street 

s Gandhinagar 


(Andhra State) 

March 18, 1955 

Dear friend, 

I presume you remember me. I retired from the "Times of India" about 
four years back. Since then I have been staying here, having constructed a 
small house at a high cost. Your father must have written to you about my 
intention to seek a job. I hear Birlas have advertised for staff for three 
newspapers at Hyderabad^- English, Telugu and Marathi. I am told that you 
arc the key-man at ffbad and that you can surely help me in securing one of 
the senior places on the English daily. ... 

I am happy to hear that after a severe ordeal of a few years ago you are 
now happily and well placed in life. I wish you good luck. 

I shall be happy to hear from you at an early date about the newspaper 
developments at Hy*bad. 
Thanking you, 

Sri Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rao 
A-10-431, Himayatnagar 

196 306 


^ooSorbT^Ob &r*c sjodoBr* ^ooO ^Tos^ocoS* 



cr^off* es^ 

1&57&* 90 

JfArSSj. icr^js-O /AT 





198 336 



XW10201 WEA 


New Delhi - 5 

Jan.30, 1958 

My dear Rajeswara Rau, 

Delhi looks dull without you, sweeping here like a gale. The more I think 
of it, the more I am convinced that the capital is the place for you. And, 
believe me, I am more anxious than you are that you should gravitate here and 
pitch your tent. So do come by the time Parliament will re-assemble, We 
shall explore all the avenues - and concentrate on the Congress office. I am 
getting the material and the brief ready for Sri Alluri. (If I may add, with 
weakness for alliteration, Abburi and Alluri should make a mighty combi- 
nation, though not exactly to shatter the peace of the world or any particular 
scheme of things! ). We shall leave no stone unturned -- and at the same time 
not fling any. Let us hope for the best. 

The report you wanted, will reach you separately. Treat it as exclusive 
and don f t share it with any. Before you come here, there is a [piece] of work 
that you should do there and perhaps you alone can. I have already taken 
you into confidence for, I know that the well-meaning Mends who have 
launched the project, need effective assistance, if not also proper guidance. 
In selfish interests I can provide the latter while one or two like you must 
ensure the former. 

SriRamanaRao wants me to send you 2 or 3 signed circular letters, so that 
you may collect respectable signatures there, using both your discretion and 
influence. I am also enclosing a list of selected worthies who have already 
agreed to join the committee of sponsors. Sri V.B JRaju, as you will find, is 
there but no other Minister yet Messrs. Sanjeeva Reddi, Gopala Reddi, 
Pattabhi Rama Rao, MJtarasinga Rao and Kala Venkata Rao were, I 
understand, among those to whom the circular was sent Were they too busy 
or lazy? None of them, normally speaking, could have any objection. 
Now, it is your job to tackle them individually. It should'nt be difficult for 
you at all. Nor will it matter much if some hesitate or even hold back. But 
make sure one way or the other. 

You are welcome to approach some others, particularly among the 
MLA's who, in your opinion, should be there and would like to be. 


For the present, they are leaving aside the generous (Sri V.V.Giri and Sri 
B .Ramakrishna Rao) as they are Heads of States and would come in handy 
later, the same with elders like Dr Pattabhi. 

TherearesomegapsinSriRamanaRao'slist. I am geting them filled. We 
can review the whole position when you come here. 

Meanwhile, you have enough on hand haven't you? 

I have no doubt either about the earnestness of your effort or the measure 
of your achievement So write a reassuring line. 
Best Wishes, 

Yours affectionately, 

K Jswara Dutt 
Sri A. VJRajeswara Rau 

KJswara Dutt 

New Delhi 
;;-; March4, 1958 

In writing this letter I am obeying an impulse, born of a larger understand- 
ing. Knowing that your time is precious, I shall be brief, and being brief, also 
be emphatic. Pray, kindly bear in mind that I am making no recommendation 
for compliance (I am too modest to go so far) but only offering a suggestion 
for consideration. Andl am doing so, an Andhra with an unbroken record for 
putting Andhra on the map and out of the conviction that Andhia has one 
of the stablest governments and is led by one who, (as I told Sri AUuri) as a 
State Chief, comes next only to Dr.B.C .Roy. 

It is a depressing thought that, in spite of such a splendid background, 

Andhia's publicity is in doldrums. It is not often realised that publicity in a 
State has two facets internal and external, the former depending on mass 
appeal and the latter on influential contacts outside, and both on drive, 
imagination and the power of persuasion. You must have or find one 
who can speak (or write) of the State inside, and f& the State outside, and 
incidentally, forge an effective link, particularly between Hyderabad and 

Having regard to all these aspects I am making bold - in larger interests 
to put it to you if you cannot harness to the scheme of things a young man 
who knows the art of persuation and has knowledge and experience as well 


as acumen and tact. If 1 may make a concrete proposal, I am convinced that 
Sri A.V.Rajeswara Rao who is not unknown to you, is capable, given a 
reasonable chance, of delivering the goods. 

Perhaps you are aware of his special gifts. They deserve to be canalised 
constructively. It should not be difficult for you to put him on a year's trial 
and see how it works. Believe me when I say that I have the good of the State 
- and your own interests -- at heart when I thus share my mind with you. * 

Knowing so you do the spirit in which I have written this, I am sure that 
firstly, you don't misunderstand me and secondly, you will kindly give your 
earnest thought to this suggestion. 
Thanking you and 

with kindest regards, 



Sri N.Sanjiva Reddy 
Chief Minister Andhra 

Hyderabad - Dn. 

XVI/10201 WEA 


New Delhi -5 

June 2, 58 

My dear Rajeswar, 

Are you feeling exasperated because of my silence? I should n't be 
surprised. It is, however, equally exasperating to me. 

By the week-end I shall let you know the position in regad to contribu- 
tions. Meanwhile, do make enquiries and collect estimates about financing 
-and talk it over with Sri Narla when he goes there. Also advise us about the 
paper - where to get it from and thro f whorn. 

I have got circular letters to sponsors for monetary contribution posted, 
except in the case of those whose address I don't know. Hence the packet of 
letters which you have to post, after filling in the respective addresses. Please 
send the the addresses to me as well, for further contingencies. 

You must of course tackle the Hyderabad sponsors - the mightly as well 
as theordinary-and see that they respondas liberally as possible, and quickly 
in any case. We should ere long launch the collection offensive. The general 
appeal will be ready shortly. Meanwhile 4o the spade work and send me all 
your suggestions. Time is of the essence. 

I know it is so in regard to your personal af f air too. Sometime this week 
shri Humayun Kabir will give me time for talking things over. I will try to 
hustle Mm. Sobe patient for a few more days. Have you met the C.M.? Don't 
leave him altogether. Keep me posted with developments. 


Has Vaman left for Madras? When will Narla be there? What about Mr. 



Yours affectionately, 

K.Iswara Dutt. 
Sri A.VJRajeswara Rao 
564, Himayatnagar 
Hyderabad - Dn. 

P.S. : I forgot to put this inside the packet which is sent by air and marked 
'express 1 . 1 am posting this separately. ID. 

: 1958-81 

[1958 ttov&ff* 





195# - Sr-S 1959 S 

Sahitya Akademi 

National Academy of Letters 

President Jawaharlal Nehru 

4th September, 1958. 
Dear Sri Rajeswara Rau, 

I should like to discuss with you personally your excellent review of one 
year's progress in Telugu Literature, which you were good enough to write 
for our journal, Indian Literature. Will it be possible for you to come to the 
Sahitya Akademi office on any morning convenient to you? I am here from 
8 a.m. onwards. Looking forward to the pleasure. 

Yours sincerely, 

Sri A.VJRajeswara Rau 
1 Ferozeshah Road, 
New Delhi 


A. V. Rajeswara Rau 

Surveying the literary scene in Andhra during the year that has passed, it 
can hardly be denied that the hopes raised during the post-Independence 
period about a creative upsurge in Telugu literature, have not borne fruit No 
doubt, there has been a good deal of literary activity . But thre has also been 
in evidence a certain uncertainty and absence of proper direction. 

The custom of honouring men of letters has been a little too much in 
e vidence during the past year and almost every conceivable literary occasion 
far dedication of a slender sheaf of poems or stories to alocal worthy or for 
cetetoratmg the jubilee of a literary work of merit have been pressed too far 
to shower extravagant praise on authors and their well -wishers. This has, in 
a my, tended to confuse mere lovers of letters and to obscure the legitimate 
fiiBcfon of literary criticism. 


Ttie programme of work undertaken by the .newly formed Andhra 
Pradesh SahityaAkademiduring the period under review, is fairly ambitious. 
The impressive list announced of works of fundamental nature like the 
compilation of a concordance for the earliest Telugu poets and a comprehen- 
sive survey of the Telugu language and its various dialects will, when 
completed, provide Telugu scholars with a number of very useful books of 

It needs only a brief look at the poetic scene to see that this aspect of our 
literature is more dedicated to its craft than either the novel! or the drama The 
guardians of literary orthodoxy have been considerably active and have 
produced a good number of literary pieces, striking both in content and form. 
Kakaraparthi Krishna Sastri's Kanchu Dhakka describing the literary duel of 
the celebrated Andhra poet, Srinadha, deserves mention. Poetic renderings 
of the Ramayana of Tulsidas by Mailavarapu Suryanarayana Murthi and 
Kesavatirtha Swami are two important contributions. Viswanatha 
Satyanarayana, beloved of both the modern and the traditional schools, 
continues to publish parts of his magnum opu$,Ramayana Kalpa Vrikshamu. 
This work is, in a sense, the most considerable, if controversial, creation in 
the field of contemporary Telugu literature. A translation of Gatha Sapta Sati 
by Gatti Lakshmi Narasimha Sastri, Arundhati Vasishtham by Bulusu 
Venkateswarulu, Menaka by E. China Venkata Reddy and Rambha by 
Sphurti Sri are others in this line. 

By contrast, the contributions of the newcomers and the innovators of 
new norms are less conspicuous alike in bulk and quality. The publication of 
Karpura Vasantharaydu by C. Narayana Reddy was recently announced at 
Hyderabad. Telangana and Aasa by Kundurthi are two outstanding contri- 
butions. Kundurthi's poetry is distinguished by a beauty of musical phrase 
and a lucid and impassioned utterance and shows great promise. Panavipani 
by Nalini Kumar breaks new ground by drawing upon a new philosophy of 
life to enliven a number of common incidents in life. Chukkallo Kukka by 
Sasya Sri, a poem about Taika in the Soviet Sputnik, is arresting in its 
simplicity and force. Kalamkalalu, a tiny volume of verse by Gopala 
Chakravarti, is a bold and pleasant experiment in vers libre. The translation 
of Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali into felicitous Telugu verse by B.V. 
Singaracharya deserves attention. The translation rendered in metres appro- 
priate to the original Bengali is one of the most successful attempts made so 
far in this field. 

Some notable work has been done in the field of fiction. The Oriyanovels, 
Cho Guntho Mho-mono by Fakir Mohan Senapati and Matir Manish by 
Kalindicharan panigrahi (published by 'Sahitya Akademi) have been ren- 
dered into Telugu by Puripanda Appala S wamy , a noted Telugu writer. The 


translations are well done and are a welcome addition 10 contemporary 
Telugu literature. Kanniti Panniru, a translation from the English Lust for 
Life, by Janamanchi Ramakrishna, is also noteworthy. Among the original 
contribution, kalatita Vyaktulu by P. Sri Devi is a rollicking narrative 
depicting a variety of social situations among college students of both sexes. 

This and Sapagrasthulu by K. Vasudeva Rao, Runanubandham and 
Parajithulu by Manju Sri, Anveshana by pothukuchi Sambasiva Rao are 
other important contributions . The common theme of most of these novels is 
the changing life of the educated middle class which shows signs of 
becoming stale. Balivada Kantarao f s Dagapadina Tammudu by contrast 
throws interesting light upon the life of submerged classes in Telugu society. 
Kantarao, author of a number of full-length novels and short stories, has 
already made a mark as a forceful and popular writer. Mullapudi Venkata 
Ramana's Vikramarkudi Marku Simhasanam is a remarkable narrative, full 
of quaint turns of phrase and hilarious situations. He has in his work fully 
lived upto his reputation as the creator of 'Budugu 1 , the boy prodigy of his 
earlier story. 

The Telugu short story continues to be popular with the reading public 
andsupply of this art-form continues unabated as in previous years. Although 
no striking technical innovations have been experimented in this field, quite 
a number of readable stories have been published. Keratalu by R.M. 
Chidambaram, Akasa Deepam by Virinchi, Varalakshmi by Kavya Sri, 
Tiruguleni Nyayamby Balivada Kantarao and Vakragathulu by Rajaram are 
illustrations of this genre. 

The field of drama, too, shows signs of activity. A number of amateur 
groups have been organised all over Andhra, staging plays and conducting 
contests and festivals. Theatre-going audience is also growing in both rural 
and urban areas. But the playwright has yet to gain in insight and depth and 
also acquire a new sense of perspective commensurate with the spirit and 
speed of times and the fast developing technology of theatre. 

The modern full-length play has yst to mafce good.TIie lack ot a well 
equipped theatre where it is possible to have continuity of practice and the 
prevailing confusion in the minds of writers and actors regarding the relative 
values of the stage and the cinema, are partly responsible for arresting the 
growth of a genuine popular drama Like the short story it is only the one-act 
plays and the short radio play that seenTto hold the field so far. 

Although no new ground has been broken and no marked invention of 
new dramatic technique is in evidence, some of the recent writers have 
continued to publish plays which are eminently stage-worthy. Pavithra 
Jeevulu by Hita Sri, Panjaram by Avasarala Suryarao, Gudi Gantalu by Ch. 
Bhavanaray am Rao are some of the plays which have been enacted at more 


than one place. Among the one-act plays, Samarpana by Kavya Sri, 
Rajadandam by Nagabhushan call for at least a passing reference. Anthya 
Ghattam by Singitham Srinivasa Rao and Rendu Rellu by Lasuna are two 
others which have been widely appreciated. 

The demand for children's literature which is daily growing is not being 

met even partially . Beyond the sumptuous volume, NarthanaBala^produced 
by Nataraja Ramakrishna, and Chiru Kappa by Palanki Ramachandra 
Murfey, there is not much is this field. If it is true that the literary work-shop 
conducted by Gidugu Sitapati in 1956 has succeeded in getting together a lot 
of material for a few books for children, interesting additions to children's 
literature in Telugu should soon see the light of the day. 

Literary criticism still retains the character of a malignant deity, as Swift 
(Mice called it. On the one hand, we have pompous literary judgments based 
on half-baked rasa theories, and on the other, opinions fed by narrow literary 
prejudices, mostly expressed by the various self-appointed mentors of 
literature the Reviewers. In healthy contrast to this tendency a series of 
critical studies of the eight celebrated Telugu poets by competent scholars 
have been published by the Andhra Saraswat Parishat of Hyderabad. A 
critical estimate by G.V. Krishna Rao of Kalapoornadaya was formally 
released at a public function at Tenali, presided over by Humayun Kabir. 
Although young in years, Krishna Rao has already made a name for himself 
as a critic of high order, Andhra Vangmaya Charitra by D. Venkatavadhani 
is as succinct and convincing survey of Telugu literature. Another laudable 
attempt in this field is the work of Veldanda Prabhakaramathya on 

The need for a scientific approach to the methods of teaching Telugu 
language at various levels is slowly gaining ground in Andhra. S. Krishna 
Rao and B.V.Seshayya are two pioneeers in this difficult but specialised 
field. Their extension lectures at the Osmania University have been recently 
published under the titles of Met hods of Teaching and Teaching Telugu as 
Second Language. 

The dictionary of Telugu technical terms which is being compiled under 
the editorship of the Speaker of the AndhraLegislative Assembly will greafly 
facilitate the popularisation of scientific literature in Telugu. Tirumala 
Ramachandra's book concerning the Telugu script and its history is a 
commendable study in linguistics. The Andhra SahityaParishat of Kakinada 
which is engaged in compiling a comprehensive Telugu Lexicon for the last 
three decads, has recently brought out two more volumes, fifth and sixth in 
the series. They were formally released at an impressive ceremony before a 
large gathering of scholars and writers, presided over by Radhakrishnan. 


Speaking on the occasion, the great savant said; True literature is that which 
defies death and lives on forever to guide humanity towards the goal of life. 
It whould express the spirit within and make us delighted and enlightened. 
Telugu writers today are by no means ill-equipped to write on a variety 
of subjects in a variety of modes, though they may still seem to suffer from 
immaturity, from an aversion to rise above the mediocre outlook on life and 

letters around, and an improper evaluation of aesthetic standards in literature. 

The larger promise held out by the anti-Romantic revolt during the laterpart 

of the 'thirties, was soon fousd to degenerate into a vulgarised practice of vers 

libre and crude imitation of existentialist^ pattern. For nearly two decades, 

writers were constantly staging both a revolt and a retreat with the result that 

there was no escape from a splendid failure to forge a really new attitude to 

literature, rooted in the prevailing social conditions. While poetry became a 

f de-controlled expression of feeling in words', prose ceased to be a vital 

reflection of dynamics of mood and emotion. The writers of today have yet 

to achieve what may be called courage of vision. 

However, this period is not altogether without achievement. Among the 
major writers, Abburi, Viswanatha, Krishna Sastri and Sri Sri still hold the 
field in modern Telugu literature. And among the younger generation, 
Padmaraju,Rachakonda, Rajasekhar, Gorasastri, Tilak, Kundurthi and Ajanta 
are the rising hope of Andhra litterateurs. Ajanta, despite meagre output, is 
perhaps the most remarkable poet of the period. 

New experiments and explorations to extend both technical flexibility 
and range of subject are doubtless being made. But the new urge must find 
a deeper expression and a larger purpose. Let us hope that during the coming 
year they will, inspired by the ideal set before them by Radhakrishnan, be 
able to grasp and utilise this freedom to a greater creative advantage. 


[1959 &* 

""-' '',w* 

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The Institute of National Affairs founded two years ago by a group of 
young intellectuals is intended to inculcate a spirit of inquiry among our 
people into our national affairs primarily to shape their development condu- 
cive to the growth of healthy democratic traditions in our country At the 
some time it is also our intention to present Indian case on various subjects 
before the public. 


The present publication 'Dalai Lama and India 1 is to present to the world 
how our people and government felt about the recent crisis in Tibet 

My thanks are due to Shri A. V. Rajeswara Rau who has so ably edited 
the volume and Shri M.C. Gabriel who has helped in its preporation. 

The Institute of National Affairs, New Delhi. 

[ 1958 

L ?. Rajfswira tu 


foreword by 

humayun kabir 


Executive Officer 
Kesoram Cotton Mills Ltd. 
42 Garden Reach Road 
Calcutta - 24 

August 18, 1958 
Shri A.V. Rajeswara Rau 
New Delhi 

Dear Shri Rau : 

I thank you for your kind letter dated July 9, 1958. 1 am sorry for the 
inordinate delay in reply which was indeed, due to my being away from 
Calcutta for some time. 

I am glad to know that you are bringing out an Anthology of Indian 
poems. I shall most gladly send you 2/3 poems of mine for inclusion of the 
same. As regards the permission, you are advised to send me a form in 
duplicate the original of which will be sent to you and the copy will be 
retained by me. 

I am going to New Delhi by the 26th August. I shall stay there for 3/4 days. 
Most likely I shall put up in a hotel which has not yet been fixed up. If you 
send me your telephone number, I can give you a ring after reaching there, 
and a meeting could be arranged. 
With kind regards. 

Yours sincerely 


Telephones: Bombay 37881-85. 

Telegrams: 'STANDANA 1 Bombay, 


BOX NO. 333 Proprietors: Express Newspapers Private Limited. 

Madras 2. (Newspaper Home, Salmon Dnck, Colibi, Bombay 3) 

Pot Box No. C.P.O. 167. 

Pott lax No. 16J4. 

Delhi 9. 


September 11, 1958. 

Dear Mr. Rajeswara Rau, 

Many thanks for your letter of September 8. Ihave acopy of Dom'spoems 
but since it is the only one I do not lend it. However, I shall pick out one or 


two poems and send them to you tomorrow or the day after. There will be no 
trouble about reproduction rights. 

Yours sincerely, 

*-\> ' '-K ' r -- 

Frank Moraes 
Mr AV. Rajeswarn Rau, 
New Delhi. 


Camp Wardha. 

Dated, the 23th October, 1958 
EC Heda 

Member of the Lok Sabha 
My dear Shri Jawaharlalji, 

In the wake of our phenominal progress after independence, there has 
been much interest increasingly evinced by the people in foreign countries 
in our arts and letters. Although several attempts are being made to make our 
literatures accessible to the foreign reader, nothing has so far been done in the 
sphere of poetry. 

I am glad to tell you that a friend of mine- A.V. Rajeswara Rau- who 
himself a young front rank poet from Andhra, has been working on a 
comprehensive anthology of Indian poetry in translation for some years. He 
now intends to bring out, as an experiment a small volume of Modern Indian 
Poetry in the first instance. He has decided to publish the volume on 14th 
November this year. The volume will include poems from fourteen Indian 
languages selected from the works of seventy modern living poets of India. 
RajeswaraRau and his wife, Chaya Devi, have together earlier brought 
out a volume of Modern Telugu Poetry in English which has won applause 
both at home and abroad. They come from a family of writers and artists 
known for their contribution in the struggle for freedom in 20s and 30s. They 
are also intimately known to our Vice President, Dr. Radhakrishnan. Mr. 
Humayun Kabir is writing a foreward for the book 

He would like to dedicate the book to you for he feels you are the one man 
in Indian politics today who is really a poet at heart. 

I shall be grateful if you bless his work and accept his humble offer. Mr. 
& Mrs. RajeswaraRau are at present my guests at Delhi where the volume 
is getting printed. 

foray capacity of aMember of Social Welfare Study Team, I am touring 


at present Bombay State. After the tour of Orissaandpartof Andhrapradesh 
I hope to reach New Delhi on or about 10th November. Therefore I solicit 
your reply at 1, Ferozshah Raod, New Delhi. 

Yours sincerely, 
Shri Jawaharlalji, 

Prime Minister of India, Sd/- 

New Delhi. (H.C. Heda) 

A.V . Rajeswara Rau 

What is essentially modern in modem Indian poetry, is partly the 
offspring of an alien culture whose impact on our life and letters was 
immense, in the wake of the British rule of our country. Towards the close 
of the 19th celntury British Missionaries in an all-out endeavour to spread the 
gospel, helped to resuscitate several regional languages. As the imperialist 
hold was gradually consolidated, the English language became almost a part 
of our life and culture. It also awakened the sleeping soul of India to the 
wonder of a new life and purposeful striving. 

Modem Indian poetry although barely half a century old, has already 
passed through many vicissitudes in its chequered career, seemingly lacking 
a proper direction. This is because of the unsettled social and political 
conditions in the country and the uncertain future of poetry itself. The first 
quarter of the century had seen what may be termed as the Romantic Revival. 
It had a mystical accent about it. It had besides a certain refinement of 
language and a dexterity of metrical composition, blending softness of sound 
with sweetness of phrasing. Platonic love coupled with a Bohemian outlook 
was the fashion among its devotees. Later realisation of moral and material 
suppression at the hands of an alien power and the burning desire to be free 
from foreign domination added a sort of prestige to the patriotic sentiments 
reflected in the poetry of the time. Anumberofexquisitelyricsof outstanding 
merit have been composed by writers belonging to this school. 

During the later thirties the Indian poet came into contact with other 
European poetry, particularly that of France, which initiated him into the 
mysteries of sound and symbol and of image and ornament-the essential 
ingredients of the modern experiment in the fieldof poetry . Influenced by this 
revelation and inspired by a possible social upheaval, he announced a revolt 
against the romantic revellers and inaugurated a new search for freedom in 


metrical innovation and thematic construction. He drew his inspiration from 
the teeming life around him and modelled his metrical forms on the patterns 
of indigenous folk-songs. 

While this experimentation was still in its formative stage, the threat of 
a world conflagration and the war itself came in quick succession and took 
the poet unawares. The new experiment was caught up, before it was fully 
tried, in the coils of a political upsurge. The glory of a new social order that 
was the dream of an oppressed people reflected itself in every f orm of art and 
poetry was no exception. The quest for a new freedom, the desire to break the 
shackles of outworn metre soon led a large number of young poets of great 
promise to a practice of versifying political slogans, using the very jargon 
current about social inequalities. Their talent, the strength of their sentiment 
and the authenticity of their emotion was in some cases of a high order. But 
generally aesthetic purpose was subordinated to propaganda. In course of 
time it became widely known that this school of poetry bore the stamp of a 
political ideology devoted to the promotion of a dogmatic faith in the 
inevitability of class conflict This is often proudly styled people's poetry. 
The advent of 'progressivism' in our cultural life has had an adverse, if not a 
devastating, effect on our arts, especially poetry. 

Not long after the end of the second world war, India attained her 

independence. A strong sentiment of nationalism took hold of the people but 

national pride has, alas, tended to restrict the widening of our poetic vision. 

The creative upsurge in thepoetry of thepre-independenceera, soon showed 

signs of decline with the emergence of freedom. The reasons are not far to 

seek for the gulf dividing the dream of the poet and the reality staring at him 

was far too wide, he wanted something to happen that would set at naught all 

that was responsible for his material want and spiritual loneliness. To him, 

independence, in the absence of relief on his own terms, remained a mere 

sentiment, with the result that he was disillusioned and frustrated. 

Curiously enough, the middle class intelligentsia, which contributed the 
largest share in the struggle for freedom was overnight thrown out of the 
ranks of power in the new India that emerged. With the transfer of power, 
there have crept in strange forces whose supreme aim is to get into saddles 
and dominate every sphere of our national activity. The intelligentsia 
temperamentally out of tune with the strange climate thus created, have 
slowly withdrawn themselves from active participation in the life of the 

community . The intellectual ferment of the creative mind has given place to 
mediocrity and opportunism, with the result that several pretenders to the 
tteone of the Muse are today struggling for recognition and reward. Evalu- 
ation of art is decided by the opinion of the many-a kind of democratic 
aestheticism! To them culture or art is no more than another means of self- 

POETRY of our generation is passing through one of its most critical 
periods. The votaries of the old school influenced by Tagore and the 
Romanticists are unable to adjust themselves to the spirit qf modem times. 
In their search for novelty in a return to traditional methods, they have almost 
lost touch, except in a few cases, with the spiritual unrest of mankind, 
characteristic of our age. Their poetry which sprang out of innocence, has 
failed to blossom into experience. The main source of their imagery which 
has all along been the tranquil, unsophisticated rural landscape and life, could 
not be rescued to fit into the new image of the city. Sometimes their reaction 
to visual and emotional events has been electric, far from being genuine. 

Among some of the younger poets today, signs of great promise are 
discernible and their work is distinguished by striking technical innovation 
and lucid, impassioned utterance. Their poetry is also indicative of a supreme 
courage of vision which is generally lacking among the so-called major 
poets. In their case, the emphasis is more on the individual rather than on 
tradition. They are striving to achieve harmony of the inner dream with 
outward experiences. Theirs is a conscious, ceaseless endeavour to harmonise 
the inner world of the creative imagination with the setting of contemporary 

The genuine poet of today has only two alternatives before him: to toe the 
line of a certain mediocre taste determined by literary cliques; or to admit an 
abject surrender to a socio-political pattern that has steamrolled every branch 
of artistic expression. Around him, are the pressures at work that with out a 
'creative 1 contribution for current causes his aesthetic extinction is certain. To 
him, patriotism has a different connotation. His patriotism finds expression 
in his own self-realisation. Mere extolment of one's own country through the 
medium of art is rather to vulgarise creative expression. 

Formal democracy, in which the bulk of the population is illiterate and 
has an occasional active concern with the State, is a slow process of human 
progress, and the freedom that flows outofitismonopolisedby the politician 
who has little or no sympathy with the finer elements in man. The common 
man is lured by promises of a brighter future and demands for greater 
sacrifices are made of him for planning to bring it about But in a nuclear age 
with the grim prospect of total annihilation, the present and the future 
denote two different situations. That is why our generation is in a constant 
state of insecurity. Further, the main tools of public relations, the press in 

particular, devote most of their time and space to political reportage. Politics, 
in the ultimate analysis, is the science of power and it has its sanction in force 
from whichever source it emanates or whatever form it assumes in actual 
practice. In suchli situation the creative vision of the artist is blurred by the 
exigencies of force and a sort df liberal coercion. 


The present anthology does not claim to be quite representative. It 
however does claim to be the first of its kind ever attempted in our country. 
I am not unaware of certain aspects which could have been improved upon, 
both in quality and method of choice. What I had originally contemplated, a 
comprehensive, language-wise representative collection of modern verse- 
proved to be beyond my present resources. The anthology has been compiled 
out of translations made available to me. Some of the poems are not by any 
means the best written by the authors but are fair specimens of their work. 
Further, I have selected poems of those who are living and are still continuing 
their artistic pursuit 

I have endeavoured to present here, the varied trends of poetry during a 

period of three decades. Since the temper and the mood of the Indian poet and 

his source of imagery and pattern of symbols are basically the same, in 

whatsoever language they are reflected, I concerned myself largely toproject 

that unity. 

A difficulty that confronts everyone in the preparation of an anthology 
like this, is the utter paucity of good and reliable translators. In the face of a 
deliberate attempt to decry learning of English as anti-national and unpatri- 
otic, those who have attained commendable mastery over its usage are 
virtually frustrated and dejected. A language should be a means of knowl- 
edge if it is to be amedium for creative expression. Once Sanskrit couldclaim 
to embody in itself all the requisites responding to the needs of human 
communion. In India, such a language as would meet the modem demand of 
human quest for truth and knowledge, has yet to grow. That is precisely the 
reason why Indian poetry is faltering in the task of inviting universal 



As I think of those who irresistibly project themselves on my canvas, in 
my hurried and slightly exciting endeavour to reduce a floating idea to a hard 
reality, I cannot help toning to our own Prime Minister first There can be 
no greater blessing to one's effort in India than a generous gesture of his. 
Maybe that Sri-Nehru has himself written no poetry; but apart from his well- 
known love of poetry-modern poetry not excluded-there is none in our ranks 
who is so much of a poet at heart. It was gracious of him to have permitted 
me to dedicate this book to him-and deeply beholden, I do so, with as much 
joy as pride, 

I also fed honoured by the association of Prof. Humayun Kabir's name 
with this anthology. For bis characteristic foreword-it is both an incentive 


and an implied warning to anthologists-I am deeply thankful to him. 

Would all this have, however, been possible but for the over-all encour- 
agement I have received from the Hedas-Sri Harish Chandra Heda, M.P. and 
Srimati Gyankumari Heda? Then there is our friend, Sri Laxman Swaroop 
Agarwal who has with alacrity given a practical turn to my project and not 
let me waver in pursuing it, out of any uneasy apprehension. To these three 
goes the credit for the consummation of my desire. 

Nor can I withhold my obligation to the literary friends, out of correspon- 
dence or discussions with whom the plan of the Anthology and its perspective 
have emerged in clearer and bolder outline. To Sri Frank Moraes, Sri 
Prabhakar Machwe, Sri S .H, Vatsyayan, and Sri Khwaja Ahmad Faruqi who 
have helped me in the preparation of this volume, I offer what I owe-my 
heart-felt thanks. 









Into the welter of fading vespers 

Unto the limbo of forgotten faces 

Deliver me 

Oh Caesar of my scissored dreams! 

From the dark episode of a song's crusade 

Out of the bloodlit abode of snuffed desires 

Deliver me, away from here 

Where the wings of wishes 

Are clipped and counted 

I the bastard of a bygone debacle 

I who bartered the wind in my throat 

To the wound of your heart 

Bid me farewell 

Oh! Satan of my uncommitted sins 

Coward is the word 

But let thougts follow the funeral 

For me awaits a silent welcome 

In the nuclear nest of nocturnal whisper. 

[Translated by the Author] 





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. Modern Poetry Anthology a-o- 





So* s-lj^ 65a- S ao; rf&otf 4 Ssr^S i-o-SVooooa 



The Fourteenth of November has by now acquired a significance of its 
own in the Indian calendar as the day on which children all over the country 
claim and acclaim our beloved and honoured Prime Minister as their Chacha 
and celebrate his birthday anniversary with their elders but in a manner that 
is perfectly in tune with their tender spirit and spontaneous enthusiasm. 
Perhaps there is none in our political annals who has, by his human qualities, 
so much endeared himself to age or youth of either sex or any class or 
community. What indefinably passes for the Nehru touch has indubitably 
touched our national life to a richer hue and a nobler purpose. On November 
14 India waved to him in joy as he found himself on the threshold of his 
seventieth year, while, as usual, friends and admirers, at all levels and from 
distant climes, of f erd their salutations to him . It was a happy coincidence that 
on the very day, the enterprising Asia Publishing Co. (Bombay) brought out 
A Bunch of Letters from the Prime Minister's prodigious postbag. 

The same day he was the recipient of the first copy of Modern Indian 
Poetry (an anthology in English of select poems done by living poets in the 
respective Indian languages) the first book of its kind edited by the 
younger Abburi, Sri VaradaRajeswara Rau, with an arresting preface by him 
and a characteristic foreword by the Minister for Cultural Relations, 
Prof.Humayun Kabir. Indeed, this admirable book which projects Indian 
poets on so wide a canvas through the rendering into, or the medium of, 
English, was dedicated to Mr.Nehru. For, as the Editor put it, if Mr.Nehru 
has himself written no poetry, there is none in our ranks who is so much of 
a poet at heart. On one thing, the world is agreed: there is nothing prosaic 
about our Prime Minister. 

('Swarajya', November 22, 1958) 

K.R. Srinivasa lyengar 

Modern Indian Poetry: An Anthology, edited by A. V. Rajeswara Rau. 
(Published by A. Chaya Devi for Kavita from 1, Ferozeshah Road, New 
Delhi. Rs. 10) 

An anthology of English translations of modern poetry written in India's 
many languages is an ambitions enterprise that calls for qualities out of the 
ordinary. A kind of air-lift has to be attempted to transport to neutral ground 
sundry individuals speaking a dozen or more different languages, and out of 
their seeming discords a new society, a new language and anew music have 
to be created. To fail us is far easier than to succeed, and success itself could 


be ungenerously dismissed as no more then successful failure - a success not, 
after all, worth attempting or achieving. 

Here are 75 poems from 70 poets representing contemporary India's 14 
languages Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, 
Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. 
The average is 5 poets for each language, and most of the poets get only one 
piece each, and most of the pieces only one page. Telugu and Marathi lead 
with 10 poets each, Bengali has 9, Hindi 8, English 5, Gujarati, Kashmiri and 
Punjabi 2 each, and Tamil 1, 20 of the 65 poets writing in the regional 
languages have translated their own poems, which means that 25 out of the 
70 poets here represented are either indo- Anglian poets or translators. 

A truce to statistics, however, numerous indeed are the dishes, but our 
complaint is that they contain only little spoonfuls and many of the dishes 
taste alike somewhat, and one rises from the feast a little dazed and 
exhausted, but also rather sullen and uneasy. 

The anthologist's task really is one of uncanny selection at every stage: 
the languages, the poets, the poems, the translators. The coverage has to be 
wide, the selection unexceptionable. Why this language but not that (for 
example, why Kashmiri but not Sindhi or Maithili or Sanskrit)? Why so many 
from one language, Marathi, and so few from another, Tamil? Why this piece 
from this poet and not another or a better or more truly representative? Why 
this translator, and not this other? We shall grouse and grumble (and not 
without justification either) and the anthologist must bear his cross with 

It is only too true that cold war politics and planning economics seem to 

leave little room for poetry in a world increasingly controlled by science and 

technology. Romance is taboo, we are called to order by the new imperatives 

of the Welfare State, and we are drilled to conformity by the ruling arbiters 

of taste and thought and art. How is the modem poet going to escape both the 

allurements of the sleepy meadows of easy success and the blandishments of 

the Party Commissar or the Minister of Information and Broadcasting? 

However, the poet enjoys even in the modern world one priceless freedom. 

He can be silent He cannot be compelled to sing the songs he doesn't want 

to sing. He may not be able to save the world, but he can atleast save his own 

soul, and so long as he can do it, he will be serving humanity. Modern India 

has still some poets who have this courage to sing only what they wan t to sing, 

and the even greater courage to be silent if they must. 

The 75 poems here assembled show that, behind the diversity, the Indian 
heart beats alike everywhere, and that the modem world with its atomic 
scares and space - travel facilities has brought man and man - now in fright, 
now in exultant hope - closer than ever before. When Ajanta writes 


/ have no home 

Nor doom 

My form is my song 

My world is my rhapsody 

he is merely articulating what may be called the polyglot modem spirit 
But it is no bloodless 'internationalism 1 that the authentic poets of today 
prattle about; while they are uniquely individual in their vision and voice, it 
is also the vision and voice of anguished humanity everywhere, and that is 
how true poetry is touched with a trembling universality. We distinctly here 
this note when Bendre writes 

Measure your love thus and thus? 

Why toil measuring it 

Be happy loving and beloved ...; 

or when Abburi affirms 

For To-morrow is less previous 

Than to-day 

Else why this fondness 

For the fading few ...' 

or when Jhaveri whispers to his child 

The spring can but awaken life 

But thou hast placed a sparkling smile 

Fresh as the morning breeze 

On the withered lips of Death itself.... 

The 75 pieces are doubtless rather unequal and the translations too are not 
all of them equally satisfying. Rhyme is avoided as a general rule, and the 
rhythms are seldom beaten into strict metrical shapes. But the pulse of poetry, 
however faint or intermittent, is seldom missed altogether; and Modem 
Indian Poetry is thus verily a blow struck for India's cultural unity and self 
awareness, and hence deserves to be warmly commended. 

('The Hindu', Sunday, January 18, 1959 



S.H. Vatsyayan 

Culture is what remains after what is learned has been forgotten. Yet, and 
perhaps in modern times increasingly, we live by what we have learned, by 
techniques, by acquired sklls, by scientific learning afraid to forget lest, 
after the forgetting, what is left should turn out to be just nothing ... 


And poetry? Would it be a deft, if perhaps not in any sense a profound, 
definition of poetry that it is what survives when the words have been 
translated? And are we, afraid to translate lest here too what survives should 
turnout to be nothing after all? 

But, of course, in the case of poetry the statement is not quite fair! for 
poetry cannot really be separated from the words. What is generally true of 
all translations is even more true about poetry: that it is impossible to say how 
a translation will turn out because already in the translation it is becoming 
different, a new work .... 

These and other similar thoughts arose in my mind as I looked through 
the pages of Modem Indian Poetry, an anthology of Indian poems in English 
translation (except that a few written originally in English) edited by A.V. 
RajeswaraRau. The handsomely produced volume of poems by 70 poets was 
presented to Mr. Nehru on his birthday a tacit affirmation of the literary 
fraternity's determination to count him as "one of us" despite his great 
eminence in other field, and also perhaps an expression of the rather 
pathetic hope that poetry may find its rightful place in the modern mosaic. 
The presentation of Indian poetry in English is, inspite of the place of 
English as the common denominator for all exchange between Indian 
languages, a hazardous task. The languages are by no means in the same stage 
of development The fact that a language may be trying simultaneously to . 
assimilate influences that elsewhere took centuries to mature (and some to 
die) leads to much inward confusion. Selection is difficult, elimination is 
difficult; identification of trends if tricky and uncertain, and assessment of 
representativeness, or even 'modemness positively dangerous. Add to that 
the thorny problem of some kind of balance or proportion between lan- 
guages, and then the final and most critical problem of transmission or 
communication the essential problem of "What is left", and you have a 
truly man - sized headache for any anthologist! 

Are the modem Indian poems presented in this anthology 'modem 1 ? Do 
they have the subtle, indefinable aroma of modernity, or that urgency of 
contemporaneous, the stark immediacy of involvement that might justify the 
adjective, or are they modern only in the sense of being the work of living 
poets? The answer, I am afraid, can not be an unqualified one: and paradoxi- 
cally the adjective has to be qualified by the substantive. For the poems can 
be considered modern only in the Indian context And are they India? Again 
the answer must be a qualified one: for how much of India is Indian? Or 
conversely; how can one say that the state of flux, of uncertainty and 
confusion, of emotive anarchy and organisational proliferation of the trans- 
valuation of values, not Indian? It is all India, analogous things have been in 
the past and all have been assimilated into the quilt of many colours: unity in 
diversity, etc... 


Are they poetry? Again the pause that qualifies; for there are those that 
were poetry in the original! I cannot speak for all the poems, for I know no 
more than a third of the languages represented. But of those I can speak for 
I can say they are both representative and satisfying pieces in the original. The 
anthologists 'subjective responses have always to be allowed for, and in the 
case of translations the availability of material (or translation) has also to be 
considered. That in spite of these formidable handicaps the anthology 
contains some delightful poems is a matter of felicitation. 

a few samplings may perhaps not be out of place: Bishnu Dey, invoking 
the Indian tradition with the opening phrase "Golden the cowdust hour", 

There is something very Indian about Puttappa's 

Why does the weaterflow 


Not to join the sea? 

I (joins: What Of that? .... 

But the task of picking lines to quote is no less risky than the anthologists 
and I must desist 

The introduction delineates the main features of the background of Indian 
writing today Professor Humayun Kabir has contributed a foreword. The 
anthology as a whole, may not fully satisfy; but these are inadequacies which 
tantalise and make an irresistable appeal to the acquisitive impulse. 

Do I dare to quote jus t once more from Gokak's "To the young Winter" 

# *# * 

(Times of India', 1959) 



Dr. Prabhakar Machwe 

Poetic enjoyment is mostly a subjective experience. Here the communi- 
cability of the aesthetic experience depends mostly on a supple and eerie 
medium, namely words. How much of the genius of Indian poetry written in 
various regional languages can be transmuted into English without any loss 
of significance on the part of the original, is difficult to determine. There is 
always the danger, of such translations of verse, of either being too faithful 
and literal to the original, or completely ignoring the original and presenting 
a new, anglicised version. In many an English journal published, what is 
published as Indian poetry in translation is more often than not an altogether 
metamorphosized version. 


Avoiding these two extreme difficulties in translation, keeping to the 
poetic norms, a selection from such divergent languages like Kashmiri and 
Tamil in one breath is really a rope-trick. Such an anthology is made all the 
more difficult by the Editor's self-imposed limitations. 

The number of poets to be seventy ..... the poems should be only of the 
living poets; the criterion in choosing them should be their intrinsic poetic 
excellence and no other extraliterary consideration; and probably that all 
poems should be 'modern*. 

It was difficult to get any one single person throughout India who could 
authentically claim a first hand knowledge of poetry in all the fourteen 
languages. Some attempts at such all-India poetic anthologies were done in 
Hindi by Sahitya Akademi and Akash Vani. But in English this is probably 
the first venture of the kind. 

Covering a range of poets and poetesses of ages varying from 76 years 
(Durgeshwar Sharma, Assamese) to 19 years (Sipra Ghosh, Bengali) this 
anthology throws oblique light on different aspects of life and love and 

nature. There is a complete break from the traditional imagery, ('the 
psychiastrist has shattered the song but has not given another') even the 
definitions of more human and intimate values like friendship, compassion, 
fellow-feeling, sympathy seem to have undergone a subtle transformation. 
Life is becoming more and more sordid, the fear of the collective and the 
organised is gnawing at the very creativity of individual souls, the hankering 
after a distant illusion named the rosy ideal of the romantic-reformist is 
fading away. 

There are still a few mystics like Master Zinda Koul (Kashmiri) or 
Sundaram (Guzarati) or Puttappa (Kannada); but 'progressive' realism has 
hit hard the vision of young Marxist poets like Sri Sri (Telugu). Nagarjun 
(Hindi), Muktibodh and Karandikar (Marathi). Between the two extremes, 
the vedantin and the dialectical materialist, there are a number of poets who 
just feel that there is much to feel and much to express which is other wise 
inexpressible. Among such delineators of genuine pathos are Buddhadeva 
Bose, Agyeya, Sankara Kurup, Amrita Pritam, Jigar and others ....... 

CSwarajya', March 4, 1959.) 


Prema Nandakumar 

Is there a future for poetry? "It is the art", says the critic A. Alvarez, "at 
once least and most threatened by mass communication and mass culture." 
It is rather like the platypus in this respect, and has reached "that point of 
minimum surrival where almost nothing can make any difference to it; 
extinction itself is atleast logical, if not an inevitable step". Poetry and the 
platypus. A beautiful and tragic concatenation in the Age of the Hydrogen 
Bomb-and one must hope that beauty will survive somehow, being charged 
with truth, goddness and power as well. Wellian Soutar has said rightly that 
"poetry is the gift which gives a vision of the beautiful. In a world that is 
increasingly growing less beautiful (andperhaps less noble also), where shall 
we look for solace except in poetry? Besides, in a world torn by cold-war 
tensions and linguistic rivalries, where shall we seek the norms of unity and 
harmony if not in pure, nectarean poetry? The human heart is one, but man 
speaks with different voices. Any attempt that tries to infer the one in the 
many deserves praise, and this is especially so in the realm of modern poetry 
which is one really, though apparently variegated. 

Such an attempt necessarily takes the shape of an anthology of transla- 
tions-a compromise of compromises! Fifty years ago, Okakura Kakuzo 
wrote: "Translation is always a treason, and as a Ming author observes, can 
at its best be only the reverse side of a brocade-all the threads are there, but 
not the subtlety of colour or design...." These absolutes take us no where. 
Plato objected to poetry itself because he thoughtit was but the shadow of the 
real. Now poetry's right to exist is admitted, and even applauded. Translation 
too can be honest, sincere, useful; something is lost, but something is 
retained, and it is in this spirit that Shir A. V. Rajeswara Rau has laboured to 
produce 'Modern Indian Poetry', representing the work of 70 poets writing 
in 14 living languages including English. Any anthologistisaptto be assailed 
for his omissions and commissions, and he is often more keenly aware of the 
shortcomings of his venture than this critics. But even a partial success in 
translating "a floating idea into a hardreality" deserves due acknowledgement 
Shri Rau f s desire to be comprehensive has had to find fulfilment within 
the shackles of limited space on the one hand and limited opportunity on the 
other. Almost as a rule each poet is represented by a single poem of about a 
page. Some languages are represented by two or more or as many s 1 poets; 
Tamil has to be contented with one. It is almost impossible to judge the 
quality of a poet by single piece in translation-often not very satisfactory 
either. There is a whirl of names, a whizz of tunes, and shadow seems to meet 
shadow-but light glistens now and then, there is a sort of suppressed 


animation in the air, and one does have the feeling that one is inhaling the 
distinct if rather faint aroma of poetry. And it is modern poetry without a 
doubt. "Gone are the days of stereotyped allusions, armchair imaginings, and 
idle meanderings in the realms of fancy". (Jyoti Prasad Banerjea in The 
Indian P.E.N., January 1959). No such thing as specially poetic subject- 
matter, or exclusively poetic diction; it is the poet f s distinctive vision that 
matters, it is the timbre in this voice that compels attention. Thus Premendra 
Mitra of 'The Rats":- 

Their dim shadowy minds 
Are fearful with the darkness of night. 
They store up in the dark their revolt against life. 
The light brightens with the endeavour of the day. 
The rat holes of life still remain empty and dark. 
Thus in a different key, Ananda Sankar Ray:- 
A cup that has been drunk 
Is the love of us two. 

And thus the Panjabi poet Mohan Singh on "The Present":- 
The thousand thrills fo an unborn future, 
The bitter-sweet memories of a past that's dead, 
Let us, beloved, renounce them all 
For the present's quartered loaf of bread! 

Or hear these agonized lines from Dilip Barua's "The Unwritten Letter":- 
Today I heard suddenly that you were dead. 
And the letter is still unwritten. 

Once put into English, the voices-whether from Bengal or Andhra, 
Kerala or Karnataka, Maharashtra or Orissa-sound surprisingly alike, be- 
speaking their common Indian-nay /human-origin. Narasimhaswamy's "The 
Fathei'sThione" might have originated in Tamil Nad, in Kashmir, or, for that 
matter in Japan or China. And Mohan Singh's lines quoted above could be 
matched by Abburi Ramakrishna Rau's even more memorable 
What comes is a new seed, afresh crop 
So why not love the living 
And wipe out your wistfulness 
For what is gone 
For Tomorrow is less precious 
Than Today 
Else why this fondness 
For the fading few. 

Of the Indo-Anglians, P. Lai, Dom Moraes, K. Raghavendra Rao, R.C. 
Rajasekhar and Srinivas Rayaprol figure in the anthology. To this number 
should be added, perhaps 20 regional poets, including such famous names as 


Puttappa, Bendre, Agyeya (S.H. Vatsyayan), K.M. Panikar, P.S. Rege, 
Panigrahi , Amrita Pritam, Humay un Kabir and Buddhadeva Rose, who have 
Englished their own poems and could therefore also be included among he 
Indo-Anglians. As a rule almost, the translators have not attempted rhyme; 
the hunt for nearly equivalent words is trying enough and needn't be yoked 
with the hunt for rhyming words as well! Something of the sense and 
something also of the spirit of the original are caught and transmitted through 
the English medium. Jhaveri's rendering from his own Gujarati is thus as 
satisfying as we have a right to expect: - 

The spring can but awaken life 

But thou hast placed a sparkling smile 

Fresh as the morning breeze 

On the mthered lips of Death itself; 

How could I call thee spring? 

There are very, very prosaic pieces too, but the total picture is edifying. 
While admitting that translations are difficult, Humayun Kabir says in his 
Foreword that "yet there is perhaps no alternative to translations in building 
up a universal literature out of the contributions of writers and poets of 
different nations". Shri Rau and his fellow translators deserve our gratitude 
for their work in this building up of a national literature in India and for 
promoting what Goethe called "this universal intellctual commerce ....... the 

general traffic among nations." 

(The 'Indian PJE.N'. April 1959) 




Jeanine Harrault 

It is a privilege to be allowed to write about this generous and successful 
contribution made by the Telugu poet Sri A.V. Rajeswara Rau to our 
knowledge of one of the most soulcurevealing aspects of his country's 
culture. Modern Indian Poetry is a collection of seventy poems culled from 
the works of living poets during the last three decades in the fourteen official 
languages of India The privilege of reviewing this anthology lies in the fact 
that it is the first time in this ancient land that glimpses of indigenous 
contemporary verse are afforded to the world reading public. It is an 
individual act of faith, 

A.V. Rau's preface is interesting for the manner in which he dares to 
criticise much and to hope with equal fervour. Remembering that "modem" 
traits in Indian poetry shaped themselves under the pressure of an 'alien 1 
Westernculture he briefly reviews the successive trends of this half century's 
output the budding romantic revival, the patriotic appetite to be freed from 
foreign rule, then in the thirties, other apertures such as contact with French 
symbolism and the corollary emphasis or metaphor which in the ancient 
tradition had been wholly subservient to rhythm. He then discusses the 
impact of war on the shaken poet, the quest for a new social order mingled 
wtfh the quest for a new aesthetic formula, and the partial intrusion of 
political ideology. He touches upon the creative writer's struggle and the 

of his generation: how 

re to Which * e P is ^jected to force his 
contemporary events. 

31 K ntentS * e "Wo** Purposely chosen the 
, with no indication in the English text of the language of 


origin, as if to accentuate their common Indian origin. As I have scanned the 
pages not one poem seems bereft of the sparkle of romanticism, the swift 
touch of the trancendent, or the lust for beauty. I cannot help speaking of these 
poems with rememberance of some hard hit flinty intellectual verse, that 
mysterious poetry written to kill poetry, indulged in by some Western 
contemporaries. A little of the "tamasha" spirit livens every piece. Then 
again, by comparism, no Indian poet seems to have inhibitions about 
sentiment or "feeling" in poetry. In fact, these poems are ones of "moods 11 and 
"states of the soul", something qaintly eternal lyricism. Many cry of nostal- 
gia, even the frustration and temper of our broken age. The translated text 
carries something of the litheness of the original music. On the whole it is 
liuman 1 poetry with something of a silver tinkle and freshness - never 
"intellectual" and more direct than many western counterparts. The tone is 
highly strung and impassioned. As they stand, even for the connoisseur, no 
major difference in cadences will be discernable between those who have 
source in one province or the other. They grow all as the petals of one Indian 
lotus blossoming in the great river of lyrical verse as it flows through the 
human heart, always the same, from civilization to civilzation. 

, > 



22 July 1959 

My dear Rajeswara Rau: 

publication of the 
me? Tm 

y U ' re 8 ing ahead with 
U please P ut in an int > * 

' hence 

to put in himself everywhere 

k ff ' It>S ver * sil] y for 





It would be hard to find a better short anthology than Modern Indo - 
Anglian Poetry, edited by P. Lai and K. Raghavendra Rao (Kavita, Rs. 7.50). 
Mr. Lai has excelled himself in his introduction, the poets are at the top Of 
their form in their verses. The editing is lively and original; even in printing 
(but not the binding) is good. No one can read Mr. Lal r s attack on the "greasy, 
weak-spined and purple adjectived 'spiritual 1 poetry" of the mystic East 
without warming to him. As he rightly says, this kind of slushy verse is the 
most dangerous thing that infects our poetry today. "It has spoilt a good deal 
of the Indo - Anglian past; it can (without exaggeration) spell ruin for the 
future:, Even the best are not always entirely free from "the clutches of soul 
stuff: . Happily there is none of it here: Mr. Lai's "Unofficial Poets' workshop" 
is true to the basic impulses of great poetry; it declares its faith in a vital 
language which will not be a total travesty of the current patterns of speech, 
will deal in concrete terms with concrete experience, is free from propaganda 
("We shall not write odes in honour of the army chief or sonnets to the Prime 
Minister' 1 ), leaves "the fireflies to dance through the neem", and emphasises 
the need for private voice. 

Mr. Lai defines the art of poetry as "an art as exacting and painstaking as 
the carving of an original design in ivory". "A poem is not a spasmodic burst 
of a spasmodic emotion, but a delicate choreographic pattern within a state 
of balanced tension produced in a refined sensibility." The vitality and 
rhythm of language cannot be exploited "with orgiastic abandon", but must 
be used" precisely, nobly and with a sense of purpose." This is well said, and, 
what is more important, it is, in the main, what Mr. Lai's Workshop of poets 
has done. All the best ones are here Dom Moraes, distinguished by "the 
ability to fuse a deep or trivial experience into words that seem almost 
wedded, to the situation": Nissim Ezekiel, almost too bare and stark, yet 
laudable for his " almost obsessed attempt to present the essence of a passion 
withoutany frills;" R.L.Bartholomew, with his fine Self-portriafc "the living 
ecstacies and agonies of Raghavendra Rao, the dry, fried, painful images of 
Amaresh Datta" (has Mr. Lai been reading Edith Sitwell?); Many Erulkar, 
with a wonderful poem, the Third Continent and many more. Here is a book 
which can travel all over the English-speaking world, and never feel 

(The Illustrated Weekly of India', December 6, 1959) 


20.October 1959 
My dear Rajeswara Rau, 

I could do with half a dozen copies which I'll send out to friends & 

critics in India & outside for review purposes. But take your time : there is 
no tearing hurry. 

First comments I hear are: what a splendid production! So readable! 
Young poets going places! should become standard Indo - Anglian volume 
for Schools (!) & Colleges.1 think we'll be able to sell out your 450 copies 
once the reviews start coming in. 

I haven't heard from you regarding the Bengali poets volume. Short of 
cash? Keshev Malik, on your recommendation, sent me a volume of poems 
for opinion. He's good - you have taste, of course. (The man's a genius). 

Very sincerely' 

Prime Minister's House, 
New Delhi-2 
November 24, 1959. 
Dear Sir, 

The Prime Minister has asked me to thank you for your letter of the 1 1th 
November, 1959, and for a copy of the "Modern Indo- Anglian Poetry", sent 
to him on the occasion of his birthday. He appreciates it very much. 

Yours faithfully, 


C1 ._ . Asstt. Private Secretary 

Shn Rajeswara Rau, to 

C/o. Kavita, 
New Delhi 

My dear Rajeswara Rau, 

Thankyousomrchfommembering. Ihave received both thebookand 
the greetings, the latter with a pleasant surprise and the former with a certain 

*** ajj* 235 

amount of disappointment. I think you have done enough in the line of 
anthologies and I would suggest something different, think on it Something 
really satisfying as reading matter, something to which you could put your 
name to, something that fills definitively a vital gap. You should not throw 
away any more of your money and energy, I think. I liked the new comers in 
the anthology ... I would most certainly love to meet them ... I have met Shri 
Buddhadeva Bose and Bishnu Dey. I must say your opinion on Calcutta is 
highly prejudiced. I have grown to like it for various reasons. You might be 
knowing that my sister Lalita and Dr. K. Veerabhadra Rao are now in Delhi 
I don't know if you met each other as yet. If you meet Elchuri please tell him 
I am now in Calcutta and force him to write to me. How is your father? 

As for translating some pieces of my father's, I have none of the books 
with me. I am however writing to my brother - but let me know, before hand, 
if you have any particular poems in view. 
Well then so long and wish you the best of luck in whatever you undertake.... 


o esfe/p <<5"7T# A5 


. i. fro&Zard Zod ^ 




. \ 

Dear Mr.Rao, 

good wishes for your success, 

Warden's Lodge 

Andhra University 


23rd Se P tem ber, 1959 

Yours Sincerely 

(CKunhan Raja) 


. J 




Ait Anthology Edited 



59-B South Avenue 
llth Sept, 1959 

My dear Shri Rajeswar Rau: 

Hope this finds you and Mrs. Rau well. 

I toldProf Humayan Kabir about the Dedication. He is awfully happy. He 
literally embraced me. I told him about you also. 

I think you are progressing with the book accordingly. If you think some 
changes are to be made, please make them. I know that will make the book 

*** m Yours sincerely 

... We are well. 

With warm regards 




Scientific Research and Cultural Affairs, India, 

New Delhi. 
3rd December 1959, 
Dear Shri Rajeswara Rau, 

Thank you for your letter of 1 1th november and for sending me a copy 
of the Indo- Anglian Poetry. I shall read it with interest 

I am glad that you are bringing out another volume on Modern Assamese 
Poetry. Hem Barua told me that he would like to dedicate it to me. It is very 
nice of him and you to think of this. 

Yours sincerely, 

Shri A.V. Rajeswara Rau, 
15, Pusa Road, New Delhi 


(Humayun Kabir) 



Date llth June: 1960 
My Dear Shri Rajeswara Rau: 

It is for a good few days that I have not heard from you. I hope you are 
keeping quite fit. And Mrs Rau too. Today I have got Dr. Verrier Elwin's 
reply to my letter. He says: "you are most welcome to quote songs from my 
books" and asks if the Publishers could be given "brief credit. " I think this 
could be done. When we mention the books from which the songs are quoted, 
the names of the Publishers could also be given.... 

I got a letter on the 4th of June from Shri Kripalani, Secretary, Sahitya 
Academy that he is purchasing a few copies of Modem Assamese Poetry for 
"presentation abroad". He further tells me that a few poems of this anthology 
are going to ble translated into Japanese by a Mend of his and included in a 
book called Contemporary Indian poetry compiled by him. This is good 
news. What do you think?... 
With affectionate regards: 

Yours sincerely 



A.V. Rajeswara Rau 

Poetry it may perhaps be pointed out that the term modem appended to this 
series is meant to comprise a complex of attitudes all inspired by a desire to 
break with t he traditional belief and practice of literature and to start in a new 
direction. No poetry ever developed in a straight line; it has always been a 
series of revolts and fresh starts. These adventures along new lines cannot be 
confined within a definite perriod. No dividing line can be placed at any point 
of time to separate the new trend from the earlier one. But the difference is 
there for all to see. In this it is the work of the poets themselves that matters. 
In all climes the poets who have broken new ground have had one aim in 
common-to free both language and metre fromt he bonds of convention and 
to set aside the specialised poetic diction along with the archaic ritual speech 
associated with it. They have sought to express the common experience and 
the sensibility of the age in which they lived. Although at times there might 


appear to be a complete breaking away fromt he pasi, no poet can really ever 
uproot himself from the soil from which he springs. That which is considered 
new, soon enough turns old and is dethroned by a later movement. B ut during 
the decades that intervene, between the flowering of a new movement and its 
decline, a whole new set of values emerges changing the very complexion of 
poetic expression. It is no wonder that every manifestation of this new spirit 
is termed modern. It must be admitted that what is modern may be hard to 
define but certainly not so hard to understand. 

There are those who do not find anything exciting or even useful in 
anthologies of this kind. The most elementary obstacle to the enjoyment of 
poetry in translation is the difficulty of distinguishing lines poetically 
musical from those whose harmony is merely inherent in the language. The 
wealth of synonyms each with its nuance and associations will be missing. 
There may result from this only strained and ambiguous rcderings. All this 

is true. Renderings from one Indian language into another may fare better, 
This is being done by a few on a fairly impressive scale helping to dispel the 
notion that there are only a number of Indian literatures and no all embracing 
literary tradition unifying them. This is not enough. It is necessary that a few 
of the representative poets of the age writing in the Indian languages should 
be made known to the English speaking world, through translation howso- 
ever imperfectly done. English is the only international language over which 
the Indian intellectual has acquired some mastery. There have been Indians 
writing in English with distinction. Their number is small but it is growing. 
Sri Hem Barua speaks in his preface of the pronounced influenceofT.S.Eliot 
on i he modem Assamese poets. Who knows that some day an English or an 
American writer-both of whom claim Mr. Eliot as their own-may be tempted 
to study the .Assamese language with a view to assess at first hand the extent 
of Eliot's influence over it This is how cultures have been known to 

This brings me to the problem of getting an audience for our poets. It was 
Walt Whitman who said: "To have great poets there must be great audience 
too". This may not be wholly true except perhaps in regard to only one fonn 
of literature, drama. But most writers do feel the need for a sympathetic 
audience. It is not the audience that comes to a poet posthumously but that 
which sustains him with understanding during his life time. We in this 
country are lacking in a lively literary life in whcih people habituated to 
learning can meet each other and exchange ideas. Our public does not care 
for, much less understand, serious poetry. In a country where the percentage 
of literacy is so poor, the few available audio-visual channels of communi- 
cation are dominated by political events and economic Utopias, it may be 
futile to expect a large audience for poetry. To add to this, criticism in the 


regional languages is still largely the 'malignant deity 1 that once Swift called 
it, preoccupied in no small measure with outworn canons and personal 
preferences. In this literary climate it will certainly hearten the writer in a 
regionl language to find that readers in other regions are getting to know his 
work even if it is through the medium of a not very satisfying translation. One 
purpose of these anthologies will have been accomplished if they help to raise 
the standard of taste leading to a more catholic critical outlook and a wider 
and a deeper interest in the poet and his work. 

February 22, 1960. 


KJR. Srinivasa lyengar 

Modern Assamese Poetry (An anthology): Editedby Hem Barua, (Kavita, 

In this slender book of about 75 pages are brought together in English 
translation 50 modern Assamese poems by 26 poets. Nine atleast of the poets 
are evidently proficient enough in English to be their own translators. If it 
may be presumed that where the translators not named the ediotr himself has 
done the translation. Mr. Hem Barua has translated the work of nine or ten 
poets, including his own. The filiations between English and the modem 
Indian languages are thus quite intimate, and bilingualism is more wide- 
spread than people are generally prepared to admit. 

Nay more: modem Asamese poetry (all modern Indian poetry, in fact) is 
sustained both by the living waters of our racial tradition (the Vedas, the 
Vaishnava poetry, the adoration of Himavant and Ganga, the treasurehouse 
of Indian myth and legend) and by the breezes from the West Mr. Barua 
acknowledges the influence of T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Ezra Pound "and 
other modern poets of the West", and "Marxian dialectics and Freudian 
psychopathology " , too are blasts from the West" . The first flush of Romantic 
exuberance, the realistic clinical probes of the poet turned sociologist, 
psychologist, psychoanalyst orcommunist, the returnof Romance- this cycle 
too is by no means peculiar to Assamese poetry. 

It is difficult, of course, to judge the quality of contemporary poetry from 
(generally feeble) translations. It is like seeing a coloured three-dimentional 
thing in a two-dimentional black-and-while representation. So long as it is 
not a travesty, so long as the hint of poetry is still there, one has perforce to 
be satisfied. Rhymeless free verse is but poor verse unless some original 
whitmanian poetic force enlivens or energises it; but in translation one is 


willing to meet the verse, as it were, half-way. One is prepared to make 
allowances. And so, after all, Modern Assamese Poetry is something to be 
thankful for. 

Turn these pages and read these verses. Assamese poets sing, as other 
poets sing of man, Nature and God, of woman's beauty and the glory of love, 
of the ache that is inseparable from joy, of man's self-created infernos, of the 
lure of the Himalayas, of the soul. Lakshminath Bezbarooah describes 
Poetry, in many ways, among them: 

It is the soul of the Veena that sings: 

It is the lute that sings in the cuckoo. 


Poetry is imagination~the desire of a poet's heart. 

The rest of the book is mere illustration of this Ars Poetica. Raghunatha 
Chaudhury, writing of a Rose, boldly brings Babylon and Brindavan to- 

Were you there the queen of flowers 

In the beauteous garden of Balylon? 

Did you adorn the Nandan's bowers, 

And inspire the poet to eternal song? 

Nalini Devi makes her Thirst Eternal 1 light and serious at once and even 
her poetic conceits sound convincing in the context: 

/ arm wearing a garland 

of endless Karma, unfulfilled in lives of the past: 

It hangs on me like a necklace of pearls, heavy with a procession of pain. 

Herm Barua juxtaposes on the Indo-Pak border the 'devil-dance of death" 

and the girl Anamika near a tank, blissfully unaware of it alL The Owl, the 

Snake, the Night Sky, Evening, Earth, Hamlet's Ophelia-they have their 

poets too. And while the presure of pain and tragedy is seldom ignored, the 

still small accents of Hope are stifled. Amalendu Guha is happy that the 

season of war is over, and would like the song of hope to sweep"from Hoang 

Ho to mighty Mississippi". In short, this bunch contains poetry that is simple 

enough, sensuous enough, passionate enough, and above all, instinct with 

enough healing power as well; modern without being angular, and traditional 

without being stale. 

(The Hindu', 5-6-60) 


[ 196.1 


Sasthi Brata is twenty-Dne 
left home at 19 
has served as a waiter 
talked incessantly on public 


broadcast over the AIR 

studied honours physics at Presidency 


Polished shoes on the roadside 
and is now on the staff of a National 


["Eleven poems" by Sasthi Brata, published by A.V. Rajeswara Rau for 
the Bluemgon at 15, Pusa Road, New Delhi-5. 1961 J 


,, J _ . . London 18 vi '61 

My dear Rajeshwar, 

It was really time I wrote to you and I quite agree with you when you hurl 
nice words at me under your breath while you read this letter. 

But how is life? The book which you published in March 1961 by poets 
yet unknown has brought on yours truly the doubly pleasureable responsibil- 
ity of representing Indian poets, selecting their poems and reading them out 
to an august literary assembly and then in turn be flung on the air in the Third 
Programme BBC. This piece of news is just to let you know that the poet 
whom you published wasn't such an unworthy one after all. 


I shall let you know in a following letter the details of my amorous 
adventures, but so much for now-that Italian women are about the hottest one 
could get and married Indian ladies should never be allowed to leave theiit 
hotels unescorted and their rooms should be provided with a tape recorder. 
I have met and on my way to getting published somewhere. I have been 
given a commission tot write on Indian poetry for an Arabic poetry magazine 
which pays very good money. 

At present I'm working as a dish washer and earning 8. 1 a week as a wor.. 
an. I work among the coarse, but terribly human cockneys , I live amidst clerks 
and typists and other middle class brackets and in the evenings I go out with 
the top lite-Lord and Lady hareweed-thanks to Wain. So I have a fairly 
graphic cross section to draw upon. 

I do hope you have sent the book to the various papers and magazines and 
I shall also be glad if you could book post at least fifty copies at your earliest 

How is Chaya Devi? My regards to her. My regards all round and to 
Richard and Rati to whom I should be writing shortly. Do tell keshev to write 
to me as soon as possible, telling me of the poem which he wants read at the 

Are you still at Pusa Road? How is life in Delhi? I met your boss Kabir, 
here and of course I wangled something out of him. Should be writing to you 
shortly, but expecting to hear from you soon. 




21 May 1961. 


Sri A. V. Rajeswara Rau 

Indian Council For Cultural Relations 

Azad Bhawan 

New Delhi 

My dear Rajeswara Rau: 

Whew! you are a tough taskmaster, aren't you? I don't blame you - you 
should get the best, and your satisfaction means mine too (this is a hint 
regarding the remuneration!). 

I've re-re-worked on the brochure, and have sent it on to you after the 
necessary alterations, as directed. 

I was impressed by Sasthi's "Poems" (Blue Moon) - good stuff, great 
promise. Kudos to you for bringing him out Frankly, I would have waited 
until Sasthi became more pakka - but by then perhaps he would be over-ripe 
and dried up! 

I hope you have not dried up. How goes life? How goes poetry? How goes 
everything Write and tell me, you d d silent coot. And give our regards 

to your wonderful wife, who is the best thing one can say about you! 


162/92 lake gardens, Calcutta 3 1, India. 


Baroda July 23, I960 
Dear Mr. Rau, 

Just before leaving the United States, where I am a lecturer in the 
Department of English at the University of California, I met with Dr. 
Prabhakar Machwe of New Delhi, who is now at Berkeley as a guest of the 
Department of philosophy. We talked together at great length about modern 
writers of India, about whom I am extremely interested. Since I was leaving 
for India the next day, Dr. Machwe encouraged me to write to you to arrange 
for a meeting during my forthcoming stay in Delhi, so that we could talk 
together, quite informally, about literature & the arts, both in India and 
America. I would like this very much, indeed. At any rate, could you possibly 
drop me a brief note in care of the USIS, New Delhi about a meeting? I ap. 
traveling with 8 students from America, all living with families. I too, shall 
be housed somewhere in Delhi, but do not yet know the address. I shall be in 
Delhi from August 4-9, all my best regards. 


Albert Johnson 


( Society fagiattied under Act XXI of WOO ) 



August 27, 1960 

Mr A. Varada Rajeswara Rao 


New Delhi 

Dear Friend, 

I learned from Bhujanga Rao during our summer camp at Mussoorie that 
you are now living in Delhi and your father is staying with you. I should like 


very much to get in touch with both of you again after many years. Now that 
you are living so close to this place, I also hope that you will sometimes come 
up here, at least for a weekend. Your father ought to have retired by now. In 
that case, if he would care, to apply his great expert knowledge of the library 
art to good purpose, I would invite him to spend some time as guest of the 
Institute and set its library in order. It isn't a very big library, but it has very 
valuable books, and they have never been properly catalogued. We have an 
accession register, but as now books are coming, it is not properly kept up to 
date. Do let me know if he likes the idea. 

I wonder whether you have any contact with other of our old friends - and 
quite a few new ones also - in Delhi. There is not very much activity, but they 
are meeting regularly about twice a month, with Suyash Malik as convenor, 
and they live not far from your address. Pandit Premnath Bazaz also lives 
nearby, I believe, in the Western Extension Area. Suyash and Gauri Malik's 
address is F.37 Bhagat Singh Market, Lady Hardinge Road. Please let me 
know if you will contact them or wish them to let you know. 


1, Sivapcalcaaa Mudali Ste*t, 

MADRAS- 1 7. 





SPofT S*&) CPSP 

- 4. 

Dear Rajeshwar Rau and Chhaya Devi, 

Thank you both for your new year greetings and good wishes which we 
acknowledge gratefully and reciprocate heartily. May the new year be full 
of happiness and fulfilling creative activity for you both. 

It is a long time since we met. I think a visit from you to Motibagh is due. 
If you ring up (35886) perhaps we could fix a session together - and explore 
all sorts of fields. 

I have just come back from Bombay. 




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K.V.RamanaReddy, MA., 
Kavali College, 
Kavali (TNellore Dt) AP. 

Dear Rajeswara Rao garu, 

Thank you very mcuh for the interest which you are evincing towards my 

humble efforts. The anthology which I am labouring to bring ut is mainly 
intended to give the greatest possible prominence to prose poems and then to 
Sj^rog poems of recent writers. Even with regard to subject-matter, I 
would like to include mostly such poems as would have a social content, 
avoiding as far as possible partisan, polemical and condemnatory verses. I 
expect from you your experiments with Matrachandas. You may send two 
or three of them, and^tease select such as are not too long, i.e., more than 


two pages each. You need not worry about time, and you can send them by 
the first week of February. 
Thanking you, 

Yours fraternally, 

1 / 


PRAHA-1, Czechoslovakia 

20th June 1962 

My dear Varada, 

Perhaps you'll be surprised at hearing from me. I had written a few letters 
to my brother which are as usual unanswered. What is the matter with him? 
If you see him please ask him to write to me. In any case he must have told 
you how I am here. Life has been interesting but not rewarding. You'd be 
surprised that you can't get any books or English magazines to read here 

except those of the Soviet Union and allied publications. However 
Dr.Kottapalli Veerabhadra Rao from Wisconsin sent me a few paperbacks 
from the U.S. which I am reading. But I am having my fill of Western music 
which I had always liked and couldn't have the opportunity to feed on in India. 
The average people have more than a passing interest in books of literature 
and the arts. So I must say the people are generally more aware of life in our 
century. And the city is chockf ul of architectural splendour dating back from 
several centuries. So life has not been so bad really. 

I am expecting to return to India sometime in August and on my return 
trip will be visiting London, Paris, Rome etc. I will be stopping in London 
for 2 or 3 days. So will you kindly send me a letter of introduction and the 
address of Dom Moraes. For I feel that my stay in London will be better for 
meeting him and seeing the place with him. And is there anybody else in 
London or Paris or Rome whom you think would be interesting for me to 
meet. You know somebody whose company I'd like and who'd like my 
company. If so please send me their addresses with some notes of introduc- 
tion. I hope your woiic is getting on well and have you anything line up for 
KAVITA. Ihaveareturn ticketto Delhi. I shall becoming to Delhi sometime 
end of August when I hope to meet you and spend an evening together. Give 
my regads to Mrs.Chaya Devi and to your father. There is a wonderful 


English picture which I saw at the karlovy Vary film festivalliere which you 
shouldn't miss - A Taste for Honey. By the way how did you take Ginsberg? 
Please say Hello to Elchuri. 

Srinivas Rayaprol 

Scottish Mission Compound, 
19, Gowalia Tank Road, 

Mr. and Mrs. A.V.Rajeswara Rau, dear friends: 

Indeed, I should have written to you long ago, to let you know how much 
I enjoyed your anthologies, and how I was going on with jny work of 
selecting and translating. As to my writing to you to thank you for the few 
hours we spent together in Delhi, for advice and encouragement you gave me, 
there is no excuse for my postponing it to this late date. However, I hope you 
will accept my thanks all the same: 

Before long, I hope, I shall be able to send you all details about the Telugu 
anthology in Danish, as I have planned it, and I shall also put before you my 
wishes in that connection. As I have already told you, I'll ask you to help me 
translateafew morepoemsby some of thepoets, and to write an introduction. 

Out of the English and Assamese poems I haven f t made any selection so 
far, but I am sure the reading of them has helped me to select with greater 
ccttainity from MODERN INDIAN POETRY 

Before I close: I did meet Hebbar that day, and we had a long and 
interesting coffee-talk. We are going to meet - family wise- as soon as they 
to Bombay. 



Please give me a warning when another book in the Kavita Series appears. 
I must set some days aside for reading then. 

With my best wishes, 

Sincerel Yours, 

Erifc Stinus 

Sri A. V .Rajeswara Rao 
New Delhi 

803, State Street 




My dear Rau, 

I have not heard from you for a long time. I get Cultural News regularly, 
I did a litde bit of publicity to 'Modern Indo- Anglian Poetry' on W.C.G.D., 
a radio station in New York, for whom the producer Florence Beaker Lennon 
got some poems of mine and some readings from this book recorded. She 
selected Dom Moraes' TCanheri Caves', one poem of VJD.Tri vadi and one by 
MP.Bhaskaran on 'Cavenan'. She and I both profusely praised your book and 
I hope some more orders will be secured out of this. May be. 

I have another interesting proposal to offer to you. There are some 
interesting American poets and poetesrses whom I am meeting and they have 
not published much here, not in book-form. One of them, a part-Negro, Zen- 
Buddhist, H.M.Guy of Berkeley has already sent me some more poems of his 

and some by his friend Eakle (James), some of which are very good, and we 
can get a couple of more poems - Florence Lennon was working with 
Tambimuttu and has an excellent poem on Gandhi... You can select some of 
these poems - say 30 or so and make a Bunch of American Poetry (to be 
published in Tagore Centenary occasion), dedicated to Humayun Kabir or 
Jawaharlal Nehru). These poets do not need any money; they can't give any 
money either - the very idea of getting their poems published in India is so 
exciting to them. They have given copyright of their material to me. You can 
use my name as Editor etc. if you like. I am sending all this stuff by sea-mail 
to you today. Will reach you by March. Thi'nk about this. This is worth 
investing. A step in understanding on International Level thruPoetry - a right 
thing to be done in Tagore's memory. I am not asking anyone else to do this. 


TCAVITA* will have the credit May be International Centre of CD.Deshmukh 
takes up Indian distribution and makes some contribution to wards expenses. 
What do you think of this? 

By the way I ran into Mary Erulkar at Florence Lennon's studio. She is 
a Jew born in India... You can include her poems too. She will write to you. 

What happened to Hindi Anthology by Vatsyayan? And other ones? May 
be you askFaruqui to complete his work and hand over to you before he (I 
learn) comes to U.S.A.? 

how is Abburi? Be writing to me. 

Sincerely yours, 

P.S. Ellen Roy's murder was gruesome. I heard about it very late. Awful! 
Any further details about it? Was it a political murder? 



OF INDIA Embassy of India, 




- 6 *- c / Ministry of External Affairs 

New Delhi 

My dear Sri Rao, 

I want to thank you most gratefully for your kind letter of 19th July, '62. 
I am sorry 1 could not reply to you earlier as my husband fell ill very seriously 
and had to be in bed for six weeks. Even now he is very weak and has to be 
very carefully watched. Actually your letter was addressed to him. In the 

meanwhile I have received the manuscript of the poems through Dinkar. 
Thank you for all your consideration. 

Please let me know definitely about your intention of publishing these 
poems. I am preparing the translation of the remaining four or five poems and 
then the manuscript will be ready. Please let me know the position in full 
detail Siiufe then more of these poems have been published in United Asia. 

With best wishes and kindest regards to you and your wife, and hoping 
to hear soon from you, 

Yours very sincerely, 

r* ^f" We Were deli S hted toread the very interesting description of Andhia 
fcfe by your father in the Festivals issue of the Illustrated Weekly. 



[1961 ff* 

, 1963 



o&cpSSBj^ c*5 35-^3 j^ff 1 DeStSoJT 


New Delhi-5 

17th September, 1962, 
Dear MrJKdiy, 

I have justreturned from Bombay where I had been on professional work. 
On the 7th I wrote you from Bombay thanking you for the invitation you 
extended to me, to take up lecturing at your University on Telugu Literature 
from February to June next year and accepting it By the time this letter 
reaches you, I am sure, you will have received that letter. I am now enclosing 
herewith a brief biographical note as desired by you; I will also separately be 
sending a few of my published works whose copies are presently with me. 
Could you kindly let me know the extent and scope of the course in Telugu 
Literature at your University with particular reference to the assignment 
offered to me. I would also like to know if you have a good collection of 
books and articles on Telugu Literature. 

If I find time, I propose to bring along with me recordings of recitations 
by leading Telugu poets and of modern Telugu poems and Telugu folk songs. 
I also plan to carry a select collection of Telugu short stories and Telugu 
poetry in translation. I wonder if it would be possible for you to collaborate 
with me in editing the material and bring it out in two separate volumes from 
the States, 

The more important and urgent task before us would be the preparation 
of a mall dictionary fiom English to Telugu. We have not so far produced 
a suitable dictionary after the late Sankaranarayana did it. If some grant is 
^coming, I would be willing to undertake the task in the larger interests. 
YOU may also consider my editing in collaboration with you a good volume 
of Modern American Poetry in Telugu. 

a ^ t0 *** from y u - l w>uld very much like my wife 
me. As you know, she is one of the few prominent woman 

$66 Z>& 257 

writers in Telugu, having a few published works to her credit. I wonder if she 
could get some financial assistance through your intervention. She is now on 
the staff of the Indian School of International Studies. She is doing very 
useful work there. You may perhaps think of asking her to prepare an 
exhaustive bibilography on Indian studies particularly literature. I would, 
however, leave it to you to consider her case in whatever manner you may 
think it could be done. In any case you should not do anything that is out of 
your way. 

With kindest regards. 

Yours Sincerely, 

(A.V.Rajeswara Rau) 

Mr. Gerald Kelly, 


The University of Wisconsin, 

Room 305, 905, University Avenue, 

Madison 5. 

[...Sept, 62] 
My dear Varada, 

Your letter came when I was fighting against odds & spending restless 
day & nights for the production of Kanyasulkam. ... 

I learnt about your assignment to Wisconsin through A.R. Krishna and 
later through a long letter from Raman. I have been planning to help you in 
preparing your lectures but my situation here is so bleak that I do not have 
even the minimum creative comforts at home. In spite of it I shall do 
everything in my power if you give me a definite idea of your requirements. 
My eyesight has considerably weakened and I am unable to read and write 
after 6 p.m. and I badly need a scribe to help me. I do not know when you 
are expected to start and what time is available for me to do my bit Do send 
me a detailed account of your essential requirements. From what I know it 
will be very helppful to make your programme of work colorful if you can 
take along with you three or four tapes of recordings from the different 
periods of Telugu literary history. Readings from the earliest inscriptions, 
song bits from Kshetraiah, Tyagaraja, adhyatmaramayana, poetic readings 
from Prabandhas & folk literature etc. as soon as I hear from you I can have 
these made here besides working on your lectures. You need not feel diffident 
because of your administrative complications in your present position. We 
shall somehow manage to secure all the material rcqd.... 


I am leaving lor Madras on the 30ih to attend a meeting of Sahitya 
Akadcmi Advisory Board and complete arrangements to take Kanyasulkam 
there. I shall be back by the4th or 5th of October, I think there is time for you 
to send a line in reply to this immediately. There is a lot more to write but 
Imusi stop now. 

With love to you both 

[ Abbtif i Ramakrishna Rau] 

272 Malakpet 

Novl 1,1962. 
My dear Varada, 

Yours of the 9th inst. My indisposition has turned out to be a serious setback 
... I do not know exactly when you will be leaving this country and what time 
will be available for me to be of some help to you, I shall collect the stories 
and shall try to prepare synopsis of a few novels. I shall consult and prepare 
some of the recordings after having a talk with Bh. Krishnamurti who has a 
good taperecorder and must know what recording will be useful. 

With love to you both, 

A.R. Rau 
[ Abburi Ramakrishna Rau] 

PHONE: 864)8 4-A, L A K S H M I PUR AM, 


cm* DifttCTon MAD ft AS -14. 

>*../.?..:. ..... .</.:. 

My dear Varada, 

I am sending per separate Regd. Book-post, a few of my stories rendered 
into English. I do not have copies of two more stories published in Triveni' 
several years ago. One of them, 'Subbi 1 is good. If you can get at some old 
numbers, you may be able to find it. Another one, which you can easily secure 
in Delhi is 'on the boat', is published in the anthology of contemporary short 
stones by the Sahitya Akademi. 

1 have been very careless about my Mss. After I received your first letter, 
I started fishing for some useful material, but I could find nothi ng. I have done 


two or three poems of Krishna Sastri ;and one of mine in English, but I do not 
remember by whom or where they were published. 

I am sorry about the time I have taken to reply to your letters. 

I am now doing a longish novel Telugu and English versions - 
simultaneously, with the freedom movement as the background. I am more 
than half way through. 

Wishing you a pleasant sojourn in the U.S. and with heartiest greetings 

to you both, 

yours ever, 

j I V 




(Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastri) 


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907 W. Dayton St. 
Madison 15, Wisconsin 
December 28, 1962 
Dear Mr. Rao: 

Fritz Lehmann has asked me to write you and give some information 
concerning the couirses which you will teach at the university this next spring 

I am not in a very good position to speak, since I have not taken either 
of the two courses: Modern trends in Indian Literature and the seminar in 

Telugu literature. However, several of my friends did take the seminar, and 
I can pass on to you what they have said . 

Last year four students took the seminar in Telugu literature. All of them 
were working for their M.A. degree or Ph.D. indifferent fields, such as 
{inthrppology, political science3uddhist studies, etc., and hence they were 
more aware of other aspects of Indian culture than modern literature. Yet, 
each had had some courses, as an undergraduate, dealing with Western 
literature- this would generally be true of the students taking the Modem 
trends...course. As far as their level, the students in the seminar were in the 


upper quarter of the graduate school. 

The great difficulty in the seminar lay with the reading. None of the 
students here was (or even now) advanced enough to read with ease novels, 
drama, or poetry in Telugu. Unfortunately, the university library does not- 
have available any English translations of Telugu works. So, the students 
were reduced to reading the section on literature in K. A.N. Sastri's A History 
of South India. This was very frustrating for them and for the instructor. I 
would suggest that you bring whatever books (preferably English transla- 
tions) you can. 

As for the reading in Modem Trends in Indian Literature, I do not know 
what it was. Indian authors writing in English are fairly well represented, 
but, again, English translations of major works in the various Indian Lan- 
guages are scarce. 

I regret that I can not be of more help to you. ... Also, could you possibly 

purchase for me Appa Rao's Kanyasulkam? I would repay you upon your 


I hope that this letter hasn't discouraged you, and I shall look forward to 

meeting you in February. 

&J J Sincerely vours, 

U&v~ $.CV>^ 
" John G. Leonard 




Ml tor : 
V- R. NARLA. M . P. 

28 DEC 62 

Dear Mr* Rajeswara Rau, 

I was ill for one week after my return to Vijayawada. I could not, 

therefore, attend to your matters. Two days back I had a talk with my friends 
of the All-IndiaRadio, Vijayawada, and they promised, to record some songs 
for you. I hope to get it done very soon and see that you :ecei ve back the tape 
in the first week of January. 

I am trying to collect the other material which you wanted. You will be 
receiving that too in another week or so. 

When are you actually leaving for the States? Have you secured the 
passport and finalised the other arrangements? 

How about sending a copy of the book of "Political Documents on Indian 


Affairs" which you have published recently for review in "Andhra Jyoti"? 
You would hear from me again very soon. 

Y ours s \ nee rely , 

(V.R. NAKLA.) 

My dear Varada Rajeswara Rau, 

To day, in the evening I am leaving Hyderabad for New York enroute 
Bombay. I will be in New York by the evening of 30th. 

My address in New York for the present is A.R. Krishna, Participant in 
Arts Program, Institute of International Education, 800, Second Avenue, 
42nd Street, New York - 17. N.Y. I will be writing to you early my address 
and the programme of work. 

I understand from father that you are to leave in the last week of Jan' 63 
for States. Please let me know as to when you are arriving in New York so 
that I can see you at the Air- terminal, in New York. 

I hope you are busy in the preparations. 

... Please drop a letter in reply. 

yours sincerly, 

A.R. Krishna 




Bee 31, 1962,2P.M. 

My dear Varada, 

I have worked very hard the last few days. The synopsis I promised to 
send is ready and is being typed. It will be posted to you in a week. I have 


been able to get one tape filled ap and the recording on the other tape is being 
done. So farsamples from As^eo^eo, J&rdbjo >ooj, tf*Sr$r:bo etc have 
been taken from AIR. It has come off very well. Poems from Nannayya, 
Tikkana & Palkuriki Somanatha have also been recorded. You will have 
illustration from the various famous poets of all periods. I am straightaway 
sending you all the source books covering the entire period from Nannayya 
till today. You can have the information you require from them. 

My health is not quite normal as yet. I am feeling strain of over work. I 
shall be writing again in greater detail from waltair . But without waiting for 
this also write to waltair where I propose to stay till the 15th. 

If you are sure of the exact date of your departure, do let me know; also 
write to me what else I should send you. P.Sambasivarao told me last evening 
that he will post the material to you before Sankranti. 

1 shall be expecting a line from you. With love to you both, 
If there is still time & I am well, I have fond hope that I can meet you 
before you leave. 



Deputy Municipal Commissioner 

Bombay, 1-1-1963 
My dear Rajeswara Rau, 

Wish you and Mrs -a happy and prosperous New year ..... 
I am sending you herewith typed scripts of two stories of mine. Bothjiave 
appeared in the Illustrated Weekly. Also, copies of two other Telugu stories 

that appeared in the weekly one from K,Rama Gopal and the other of 
Gopichand are sent. 

I shall now sit down and translate two stories of Gurazada. By about the 
15th I will send you at least one. 

Yours sincerely, 


C*. V. 


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Dear Sri Rajeswara Rao, 

I received your letter dated 2nd January 1 963 . 1 am happy to learn that you 
will be going to University of Wisconsin, U.S.A. as a visiting Professor of 
Telugu. I contragulate you on this worthy assignment I have not been 
careful in preserving the copies of my articles published in various journals. 
The articles published in Triveni of 1937 which you mention relate to the 

development of modern Telugu poetry. I hope that you are thorough in this 
branch of literature. I have no offprints of these articles. However, if you are 
interested you may have to address the Triveni Publishers, Masulipatam for 
supplying you typed copies of those articles. I do not know whether 
Dr.C.Narayana Reddy took these papers from me when he is writing his 

I am able to send you the following articles of mine in English. If they 
are of interest to you, you can make use of them. 

1. Andhra Culture- A synthesis. 

2. Political Maxims of Sri Krishna Deva Raya. 

3. The ballad of Raja Desingh. 

4. Telugu (United Asia 20). 

5. The contribution of Hyderabad to Telugu Literature. 

6. Telugu Drama. 

7. Interview with Sri Bhimsen Sachar, Governor of Andhra Pradesh on 

8. Language and Literature of Telugu. 

Articles 7 and 8 are in type. I don't have other copies of this. Therefore, I 
request you to have it typed for yourself and return the originals. 

Wishing you success in your tour. 

Thanking you, 

Yours sincerely, 

KJLakshmi Ranjanam 

Dated 4th Jan. 1963. Head, TeLDept. O.U. 




Dear Mr. Rajeswara Rao, 

Sri Y. Satyanarayana and other friends of the A.I.R., Vijayawada, have 
taken interest in getting some Telugu songs recorded for you on the tape 
which you have given me. I told them that you are interested in some folk 
songs as well as some modern compositions. It is a pity that only some folk 
songs by Prayaga are recorded. I understand that more could not be done 
with the single tape which you provided. I have today sent you by Registered 


post that tape and I hope that it would be of some real use to you. 

I am enclosing herewith a copy of my recent article on Sri Viresaiingam. 
I am try ing to locate some more of my articles inEnglish. The moment I could 
lay my hands on them, I will despatch those also. 

I am happy to gather from your latest letter that you have made all travel 
arrangements and are leaving for the States on the 20th. Try to make the best 
use of your stay. You would do well to return via Tokyo, if you could manage 

I asked Sri Y. Satyanarayana to give you synopsis of some of the latest 
plays in Telugu. He agreed to prepare it. I will post it to you the moment* 
I get it from him. 

Wishing a very happy New Year full of new discoveries and new 

Yours sincerely. 

(V.R. Narla) 


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(New writing Anthologies) 



Madison 6 Jan. 1963. 

California 3g 3Sj ^5/r^j^>. Berkeley 

friend SSfc <52oS b)X>od5a2>o 3^^o. 2b 

general library 
1&A-6 dS^tf a,^ sri o<S. a- ttAtf, "!> A-S &K6 35*^ Galletd dictionary 

A A A * 

William Brown dictionary &T>G o<3. CP.Brown dictionary 

post 3o2bS 2-^ l^g^oO^ 5^ sjosr 

time Sj-o <oooS &> competent s-fio. 

University club * ^odSoo best 

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single room (5^BS economy &PCP. ^r room 5 a ^-er 6gtf. 5 

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(like Buddha) fancy 
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belt shoes SJ-CT SoSoj^od. 3SoSo^j full shoes 
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27 2A 




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N.S.S. Rao, 3-6-668, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad 
Tape recording cxoos* ^p6 

- ccoS ^j 22, 23 

January 12, 1963. 

Dear Varada Rajeswara Rao garu, 

I am sending you under separate covering the following books: 

1. Andhra Kavi Tarangini (12 vols.) 

2. Andhra Vachana Vangmaya Charitra. 

3. Andhra Kavi Sapta Sati. 

4. Navyandhara Sahitya Vcedhulu, (4 volumes) 

This I did on the advice of your father Sri Ramakrishna Rao garu. 

I just take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Nidadavolu Siva 
Sundarcswara Rao (N. S.S.Rao), Son of Sri Venkata Rao of Madras Univer- 
sity. Presently I am on the staff of Sangraha Andhra Vijnana Kosa Samili. 
Can I suggest you the following reading material? 

1. Andhra Vachana Vangmayamu (for VI and VII century prose) 

2. Tclugu Kavula Charitra (from 9th century to 14th) 


3. Kavi Tarangini (from 1 1th century to 17th) 

4. Southern School in Telugu Literature (16th century to 18th) 

5. Andhra Rachayitalu (from 19 to 20th centuries) 

6. Navyandhra Sahitya Veedhulu (Modem times) 
Thanking you, 

Yours sincerely, 

N.S. S.Rao 

27 2A 


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(London Airport) 

29th Jan. 

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RoomNo. 126 
The University Club 
803 State Street 
Madison 5, Wisconsin U.S.A. 

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Indian Literature 


RooraNo. 126 

The University Club 

803 State Street 

Madison 5, Wisconsin U.SA 

sjos* Classes 

wSxw Classes T* Indian literature 
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cuttings ( Illustrated Weekly 

cuttings^>ot> air mail Jbd 

3o^g. Indian Writer Today w3 Series 

Indian Literature ^* 7Mb ^o-coa^flb. sjos- 

^fia^rf classes 

^t3^ Indian literature So 
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The University Club 

803 State Street 

Madison 5, Wisconsin U.S.A. 

6th Feb. 1963. 


Illustrated Weekly Cuttings 




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ocoos* o^rtfio ^fia. Points 



Room 126, University Club 

803 State Street 

Madison 5, Wisconsin U.S.A. 


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pull over &rcr 3^or^oo SeSs. ^>^* 32ooeo 

Room 126, University Club 

803 State Street 

Madison 5, Wisconsin U.S.A. 

19th Feb., 1963. 




The University Club 

803 State Street 

Madison 5, Wisconsin U.S.A. 



Sea mail 


classes $6&rr 

adjusters 3 

electrif current 4 

. lectures 

classes G* 

The University Club 

803 State Street 

Madison 5, Wisconsin U.S.A. 

1st March, 1963 
tapes a play 





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Indian Literatures' 

. Illus. Weekly 



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March 7, 1963. 

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18th April 1963. 


^)otooo6. -^.S) a/ftfo. .<S 3 dTfiieo Jir*?*^ 


Department of Classics 
5224 Dwinelle Hall Berkeley 4, California 

April 23, 1963 
Dear Mr. Rau, 

It was very pleasant to meet you and to have an opportunity to talk on 
subjects of mutual interest 

I have had to be out of town for several days and my work piled up, 
but at last I have been able to compile the biographical data that you 
asked for. I enclose it on a separate sheet If you should need any more 
details, I shall be glad to supply them . 

With all best wishes, Yours sincerely, 

/t 4 .*>* *, (^__^. 

M. B.JEmeneau 






Blacks 1 



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Dan Matson] 

June 5, 1963. 
Dear Sri Rajeswara Rau garu, 

Hope you are having a nice time, if not a busy time at New York. We, at 
816, W Johnson are as usual. 

I had a letter from a friend at Tirupati. He writes to say that my V.C. is 
not attending the Conference of Common wealth Vice Chancellors at 
London during this month. It seems that our Government did not allow more 
than five V.C.s for the Conference. Dr. A.L.Mudaliar and Dr.C.P.R.Iyer will 
be representing the South Indian Universities. 

I will be leaving for Chicago on June 10. My Chicago address will be: 


5012, Dorchester 

Chicago - 15, Illinois. 

How are our friends Sri Krishna and Shri Bhatt? Please convey my 

regards to them. 

I am sure you will not forget the good times we all had here. We miss you 
very much. 

Wish you a nice and happy home ward journey. 

With regards, 

Sincerely yours 



John Wiley & Sons, INC., Publishers, New York, & London 

6th June,i963. 


o*s ^efe woSoS. 

publishing houses 2 ifax a^irjaj 

ftSoSooo-Sr* eS 

6BS^&>oc-%o6. ^<TOj 4 





edSAo SOAofi. 





: 1963 - 81 

4 l,Fitzroy Square, 

London W-l 



Dear Mr.Rau, 

I first appoiogise for not meeting you when you left London Y.M.C A. on 
the 24th morning for Paris. I hope you enjoyed your stay in Paris and 
Frankfurt while on your way back home. 

MnMantri left for Stratford-on-Avon yesterday morning for a six-day 
trip - he will be visiting some places near about and then will be proceeding 
to (Winchester where he will stay for a few days. His tour has been arranged 
by the British Drama Board. He has left the room in Y.M.C. A. and has kept 
some of his things with me. It is really very unfortunate that he has to move 
about with his crutches but on the other hand it might also be an advantage 
on his pan collecting sympathy from these heartless Englishmen here. 

I have written a letter to Prof.S.Deb, Head of the Department of Geologi- 
cal Sciences, Jadavpur University regarding you and I -think he might be 
contacting you when he returns to Calcutta from Simla where he is at present 
attending the Himalayan Geological Summer School. I would also request 
you to write to him at his University address which is most probably with you. 

Sir, it has been very nice meeting you in London. I hope you enjoyed your 
seven days stay here. Though I could not devote much of my time but still 
I hope we have tried to make your stay here as far as possible pleasant Your 
company was extremely welcome and enjoyable and I will remember it for 
a long time. I wish you could have stayed in London a bit longer. 

Regarding the coloured photographs I have sent it for development an 
printing at Kodak colour process studios at Sussex and as soon as I receive 
them I will be despatching them to you in New Delhi. I hope the black and 
white picture which you took in London has come out well. Could vou please 
aid us some conies of the photographs at vour convenience? 


Please jnform Mr .Lai (Lecturer, St. Xaviers, Calcutta) when you next 
write tixhinxthat you met me in London, as he knows my brother-in-law very 
well, mostrprobably he might be knowing me also. 

Mr.Mantri's stay for the next few months is still not settled. His tenure 
of scholarship will be ending on 15th of this month, he was telling me that 
he might be putting up with Mr.Hyder if he got a job in some producer's firm. 

Dr.Subha Rao, Krishn^ Reddy, Rama Rao and myself always cherish 
with joy the nice seven days we spent with you in London. 
Hope this will find you and your wife in best of spirit and health. 

With regards, 
Kumar Banerjee 
P. S. Hoping to hear from you soon. KB 




(National Museum) S^rfib. -^er 2oo3 






'D. M. Matson, Ph.D. (Wisconsin) 
Field Director of fleteareh 

B. P. Mahapatra, M.A. ( London ) 
Linguistic Research Specialist 



A long time has passed since that distantFriday night when we two went 

but I still remember your interest in publishing books on unities Im 
writing to tell you about what I consider to be an excellent opportunity for 

o6k is READINGS IN LINGUISTICS, edited by Martin Joos (of the 
University of Wisconsin), published in the States by the American Council 
nfTSmed Societies It is a collection of articles published m learned 
Si^SSSind traces the development of descriptive linguistics m 
Sricafrom 1925 to 1957. Itismy own firm conviction thateverysenous 
student of linguistics should own a copy of this important book. 

I was recently brought to my attention by a friend ^chmg ^hnguisucs 
Calcutta University, that ot *** the University library has a copy 


READINGS IN LINGUISTICS, much less any of the students. I decided that 
something should be done about this. 

I wrote a letter to Martin Joos, asking about the chances of getting Asian 
rights to the republication of RIL. I quote from his reply: 

"Indian" reprinting, not for export outside Asia, will probably be easy to 
arrange. The ACLS contact for this should be the Bursar or Controller, 
Mrs.Alice Harger, ACLS, 345 East 46th Street, New York 17. The first 
publisher to speak will probably get the book exclusively. The ACLS would 
supply two paperboi^nd copies of the third edition (1963). The publisher 
should offer royalties for ACLS account, to be held in an account to be set up 
in an Indian bank and blocked: the money would be spent only within India, 
perhaps not for many years: the time is sure to come when the ACLS will 
want to spend it on some activity within India anyhow, and can afford to wait 
What could be fairer?" 

If you are interested in this enterprise, I'd appreciate your letting me know 
right away, as Prof Joos is most anxious to learn of the outcome of my efforts. 

I'm leaving today for Tirupati, to see our good friend G.N.Reddy and to 
clean up some work that he and I started about a year and a half ago. I expect 
to be passing through Delhi early in August , on my way back to the States 
to get married. Perhaps we can meet. 

Until then, my best regards . , 












.3*'. '& 

C3 fiJ 

So&gfT. ' 






1921-1971. 1971 J 



New Delhi 

II MAR 1869 

March 21, 1969 

Mr. Rajeshwar Rao. 
Production Manager 
Allied Publishers Private Ltd. 
13/14 Asaf Ali Road 
New. Delhi 

Dear Mr. Rao: 

I want to thank you very much for presenting me the first 
copy of A View from New Delhi. I have read through the 
book and I think it is a first-class publishing Job. I 
know how hard and how long you worked to make this such 
a high quality publication, and I wanted personally to let 
you know that I deeply appreciate all that you did, I hope 
the book is an artistic , technical and selling success. 

With my wannest regards, 


Chester Bowles 

of the 

U[nited States of America 

16th April 1969 


Since I have been unable to see you, I wanted to pass these marking pens 

on to you. 


The Ambassador departs on Monday morning; afterwards I hope to talk 
with you some more about A View from New Delhi and other books. 

Do you have authors copies in regular hardback and paperback avail- 


John Dine 


Washington D.C. 205 10 

August 26, 1969 
Mr.A. VJRajeshwara Rao 
Allied Publishers Ltd. 
13/14 Asaf Ali Road 
New Delhi- 1 

Kuldip Nair's book, which you so kindly sent, reached me today via a 
MnMurty of the India Embassy here. He had received the book from your 
friend who was in Washington; by the way I never learned his name nor 
personally met him, so was unable to thank him for the favor. 

How grateful I am to you for sending me Between the Lines. At this point 
I am half-way through the book and am enjoying Kuldip's perceptive 
thoughts and insights. Joan and I talk all the time about India, and the book 
makes me miss India even more. 


As you can see by the stationery, I have begun working for Senator 
Cranston of California He is a very able United States Senator with a keen 
appreciation of foreign affairs. I hope he will be able to visit India this year. 

Let me know your thoughts from time-to-time on developments in India, 
and 111 do the same for the U.S . Obviously, from what I read of Mrs.Gandhi's 
activities, events are moving quickly. 

With wannest regards to you and your wife from both of us. We miss you very 


Thomas A.Dine 
Legislative Assistant 


(berSj f 





My jjear Varada: 

I reached Hyd. on the 12th .... I really had a vacation in Delhi, and I am 
here back at work with a feeling of freshness. 

...Have you met Mr.Selig Harrison? What is the result? 
Family joins me in sending regards to yourself and your srimati. 

Yours sincerely 

^o2bo r 


15, 20 




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5>* & Ibda 31>jp 5" Cherry Orchard 


A *~ 

University of Poona 

Poona,7 India 
Department of English 

4 June 1965 
Dear Mr JUjeshwara Rao garu, 

Many thanks for your letter. I hope you will kindly snatch some time to 
call on Mr JRajasekhar as soon as he comes back from England and find out 
about writing the essay on contemporary Telugu short fiction. 


I've just had a letter from your father to say that I should request " Amarendra" 
to take up the job. Your father has suggested that Amarendra should have 
preliminary discussion with him since, it seems, the contemporary Telugu 
literary scene has its due share of personal rivalries and jealousies and some 
conscious effort is needed to obtain the necessary initial objectivity. I am 
anxious to give the assignment to somebody without any further delay. 
Therefore if Mr .Rajasekhar's return has been postponed or you cannot meet 
him in the near future (for business reasons), could you kindly drop me a line? 

Thank you, 

With kind regards, 
Yours sincerely, 


21 Oct r 65, 





. B 

S crft A-6S ^Jb !bSo eoSDS) poems 


Abburi Ramakrishna Rau 

212 A, Malakpet, 





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Hyderabad 500 1 

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Hony. Director 
AJR. Krishna 

Natya Vidyalaya 
Andhra Pradesh Natya Sangham 

Ravindra Bharathi Building 



. Sofc T.R.Rao 

* So 272 d& 'World Theatre Day' &o&. ' 

^60 TJR.Rao 

[... March 1966] 




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Dear Sri Varada Rajeswara Rao gam, ^ 

Namaste! You must be aware that the 'shastipurti 1 of Sij Sri is goingrto 
be celebrated at Vizag on 2 January 70. We are bringing out theKsomplete 
writings of Sri Sri in Telugu and in English. Mr .Ajanta tells me that ia the 
Indian Poetry anthology which you brought oat, there are some English 
renderings of Sri Sri's poetry, and also of otters 1 poems by Sri Sri. I very 
much want to include them in his English writings. But I do not have a copy 
of it with me. So, if you could send either the book or copies of the.poems, 
I will be highly thankful. The thing is, the volume is scheduled to go to print 
in about a week's time from now, and I request you to send us as early as 
possible, Le., within a week. 

Thanking you, 

Yours faithfully, 



3dtS~ 3!bS Modern Tehigu Poetry 3 

1197 1&* 

Andhra University 
University College of Arts & Commerce 

Date 5-10-71. 

MSreenivasa Rao 

MA., AJ>.B.(London), D.DA(Bombay) 
Head of the Dept. of Theatre Arts 
Andhra University Arts Colleges, 

Dear Sir, 

On behalf of ^Department of Theatre Arts, I convey my grateful thanks 
to you to the welcome you have accorded to the Cultural team lead by Sri 
ICVeniateswaraRao, to participate in the Alllndiaone-act-play competition 
held at Delhi under the auspices of I A*R.L, Delhi. 

Thanking you, 

Yours faithfully 

Mantri Sreenivasa Rao 

[1973&* e 


d6. 1.8.1972 


oa- So- 5 2> SOoS. Machwe 

>. ...200 


2. ^6 SfcoSo' ^*oO Scs-jtf* 7^0203^ 



3. ' 

4. general alignment 

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M AJR. Krishna T?OO 




4 b Sib Jb^s 

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. 3^7- fatalist 3 




Principal and Correspondent 
A. Paidiraju 

A.V. Rajeswara Rao ^6^ "^ 
3& A.P. Lalit Kala Akademy t*$3>&>o3 Tboj 

. 12, 13 

^S 2D(3booeSdr 

. w 

Panniru Street, 
Date. 2. 11. 73. 







June 13, 1974. 
Mr. A.V. Rajeshwara Rau, 
Editor & Managing Director, 
Allied Publishers, 
15, Sadhu Vaswani Marg, 
New Delhi-5. 
Dear Mr. Rajeshwara Rau, 

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that you have been invited by the 
Novosti Press Agency, Moscow, to make a two week trip to the Soviet Union. 
The agency will bear the cost of your stay in t he Soviet Union and pay for 
your airpassage. The trip can be madeany time during this year, starting from 
the month of July. 

We shall be happy if you kindly accept the in vitation and let us know in 
some detail what you will like to see in the Soviet Union and which particular 
aspects of Soviet life will be of special interest to you. This will help your 
hosts in drawing up your tour programme. 

We shall be grateful if you also please indicate when you will find it 
convenient to make the trip. 

We are approaching the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of 
India, to pass on to you the invitation of the Novosti Press Agency. 
With regards, 

Sincerely yours, 

(A.G. Gornov) 

Head of the Information Department, 
of the USSR Embassy in India) 







My dear Shri Varada, 

Thank you very much indeed for your nice letter. It is a pity that Shri 
Pattabhi Ram has suddenly taken ill. I hope he is well on his way to 
recovery. Pleas give him my very best wishes...... 

If is not too much trouble, I request you to call on Dr Jugal Kishoie 
once again, report to him my present condition and seek his farther 

So, you are leaving for Moscow on September 7. 1 take it that from 
there you will be proceeding to London. Let me wish you a fine time 
during the trip. 

My wife joins me in sending you both our very affectionate regards. 

Yours sincerely, 

(V.R. NARLA.) 


ak port fijfftj 

(196) Si* 




efl "itS 

Indo-Soviet Relations o ^^<so*So. 7 so 




Hotel Astoria 










[R. Viswanath a Sastry] 

Dear Rajeswara Rau, 

Trust you are doing we! :, c:in that > o a got my previous letter. I have been 
very busy with court work since I came here. The above is a copy of the letter 
I addressed to our D.S. I sent it thro' Pattabhi, who must have told you about 
it I am waiting for a letter from Pattabhi. 

Regarding Sri Sri's books, we wrote to him to get them to you when he 
next goes to Delhi on the 16th of this month. But, it appears, he does not have 
them with him. So, we will obtain them from Bezwada and send them to you 
by registered post 

On reading *s- s-AS^ 33o* MA. Padmanabha Rao wrote a gushing, 
sentimental letter. Also Venkateswaralu. 

Venkatappaiah sends you his greetings. Please convey my regards to 
Mrs. AYR. My kids are all right 

Yours sincerely, 

Telegraphic Addreat. 
273031 (5 lines) "PRESSNEWS" 


Office: Express Tauten N&rHntLn Point Bombay) 

Poet Box No. fill 
BuUdtnf, B^hadunhih Zfr Mtrg. New Delhll. 

Dear Mr Rao, 

In pursuance of our telephone talk, I am just writing to confirm that we 
are expecting your article (up to 1,000 words) briefly reviewing the current 


trends of writing in Telugu literature, for our special supplement on World 

Books Fair starting in Delhi on January 16. 
Wishing you happy New Year, 

Yours sincerely, 

December 3 1 , 1975 July Ravindra Nath 

Books Editor 


A.V. Rajeswara Rau 

If we take the population of Andhra as a whole, writers in Telugu- be they 
poets, playwrights or novelists and their audience form a relatively small 
groop. This small body started laying the foundati9n of modern Telugu 
literature nearly nine decades ago, during the pioneering days of the great 
Vinesalingam. Since then Telugu literature has steadily grown in size, 
especially during the last fifty years, and has not only gained in insight and 
depth but also has acquired a new sense of perspective bringing about with 
it a new confidence. 

Looking at the literary scene in Andhra today, however, it can hardly be 
denied that die great hopes raised during the post - Independence period 
about a creative upsurge in Telugu literature, have not borne fruit Of course, 
there has been considerable activity all around. But there has also been in 
evidence a certain uncertainty and lack of proper direction. 

The modem movement in Telugu poetry which started at the turn of this 
century had two voices, one of which white adopting the traditional metrical 
norms assumed the name of "Romantic revival" and spoke with a mystical 
accent partly borrowed from other literatures. It had all the refinement of 
language, dexterity of weaving fine words, sweetness of phrasing, the very 
qualities which made competent critics of earlier periods of poetry exclaim 
that Telugu poets were not creators but artists, mere masters of the craft of 
language. The poets belonging to this school are the authors of a number of 
exquisite lyrics in the language. They had many adherents even today and 
they have gained a wide reading public by their skilful use of linguistic 
egotisms and national particularism and sadly enough, this genre of writing 
has now become the staple of song writers and listeners of film music. 

The other voice, a more authentic one, was comparatively shortlived. 
The poets who represented this trend realised that the transfer of language 


from one generation to another was not like transfer of property. They know 
that phonetic and semantic changes were not accidental but were necessary 
for the renovation and rejuvenation of a language. They experimented with 
new metrical forms of great simplicity and attempted to liberate the language 

of poetry from the shackles of hidebound tradition. They had a clearer vision 
and proclaimed that the mother country was not just a piece of earth but a 
community of minds. 

Before these tendencies had time to consolidate their gains, there 
appeared on the scene a number of enthusiasts of vers libre. Among the 
votaries of this form there were some who, having tried the traditional forms 
with distinction, adopted this new mode in their search for a new freedom. 
They have produced poems of great beauty and created new rhythmic 
patterns which have come to stay. But there were far too many novices who 
lacked any metrical sense whatever. 

Then came the progressive school of writers who gladly accepted this 
new mode of writing as it enabled them to arrange their new fangled ideas in 
irregular lines and call poetry. One of the declared principles of vers libre 
was to "compose in the sequence of musical phrase, not in the sequence of 
metronome." But pioneers in this line like Sri Sri, Ajanta, Kundurthi, had the 
inflexible discipline to learn the art of writing. 

The practitioners of the traditional epic and kavya style still continue to 
write. Their mastery of language and mellifluous composition are held in 
high esteem by a fairly large reading public. Like handicrafts and heavy 
industry in New India, the old and the new jostle against each other through 
a period of flux and ferment While old sanctions are declining, new ones 
have not firmly taken their place. 

Telugu fiction has yet to catch up with poetry as creative literature of 
acepted canons. Most of it is inferior literature which tends to reduce novel 
to a news supplement Today's writersjof fiction^ whose number if growing 
enormously, are least concerned with the major problems of 'picture and 
drama 1 , symmetry, narrative pattern, pace and language, the complexities of 
the novelist's art Their study and understanding of life around is merely 
superficial and the characters they portray, the places they present and the 
climate they create are feigned and far from convincing. They usually deal 
with the varied life patterns of the middle classes and their inherent contra- 
dictions, emotional conflicts and didactic disillusionment in relation to 
situations thai do not exist 

However, there are discernible traces of talentand promise among them. 
Of all the contemporary writers, Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastri alone 
deserves" the credit, restoring fiction to its legitimate place in literature. 
Puranam Subrahmanya Sarma, another very gifted fiction writer, is known 


for his unique and flawless style and command over the complex structure of 
novel. Muppala Ranganayakamma, Balivada Kantarao, Yaddanapudi 
Sulochanarani, Dwivedula Visalakshi and Vinukonda Nagaraju have al- 
ready made a mark as popular writers. 

The Telugu short story remains popular with the reading public and the 
supply of this art form continues unabated. Although no striking technical 
innovations have been experimented in this field, quite a number of interest- 
ing stories have been published. A volume of short stories by different writers 
in Telugu has been brought out by the National Book Trust the best 
collection of its kind so far. 

As in the novel, it is the middle class that dominates the theme in short 
story, which shows signs of becoming stale. Palagummi Padmaraju, 
Rachakonda Viswanatha Sastri, and Puranani Subrahmanya Sarma are 
known for their vigorous narrative, fine structure and style. P. Bhanumathi, 
Bina Devi, Chivukula Purushotham, D.Kameswari and BeharUi Venkata 
Subbarao are some of the writers whose work is gaining wide recognition. 

The field of drama too shows signs of activity. The modern full-length 
play is yet to make good. The lack of well-equipped theatre where it is 
possible to have continuity of practice, and the prevailing confusion in the 
minds of writers and artistes regarding the relative values of the stage and 
cinema are partly responsible for arresting the growth of genuine popular 
drama. Like the short story, it is only the one-act play and the short radio-play 
that seem to hold the ground. However, Trijaki Yama Darshanam", a full- 
length play liberally interspersed with verse by A. Gopalakrishna recently 
proved a great success in the stage. In drama, essay, speculative writing and 
critical work, there is considerabble activity in Telugu though not all of high 
literary standard. 

There are practically no literary journals, and hardly any group activity 
as such inTelugu today. Most of the serious writers have had to depend on 
mass-circulating periodicals for popularity and recognition. These journals 
have attained phenomenal circulation now because the educated housewife 
needs something to brouse through in her newfound leisure thanks to the 
cooking gas, culinary devices and instant foods. As a corollory to this 
development, a large number of women writers have come up and the 
present-day periodicals seem to prefer short stories and serialised novels 
written by them. 

Although Telugu is comparatively rich in vocabulary, it is still far from 
being stable medium of modern literary sensibility. It is the linguistic 
development that largely impels and determines the power of thinking. To 
express an experience, hi the context of universal experience it is rather 
difficult to find proper words in the language. For instance, with the changing 



times and shedding of some old taboos and shibboleths, the bedroom is 
thrown open to public gaze , and the private love between man and woman no 
more remains private in literature. But the available vocabulary for sex is 
crude. Telugu has yet to develop words for sex life, which have no jarring 

overtones. It is generally accepted that obscenity lies not in the idea but the 
word which denotes it. The linguistic limitations of Telugu make it too 
difficult for writers to express the new meaning and experience of modern 
life and culture in an idiom acceptable both to the elite and the ordinary man. 
When one comes across such situations in contemporary writing, we are 
ruefully reminded of Crebillon's remark about "marrying words that haven't 
even thought of becoming acquainted." 

The custom of honouring men of letters has been overdone. Even the 
dedication of a slender sheaf of poems or stories to a local worthy becomes 
an occasion for extravagant praise. This tends to confuse the simple minded 

lovers of literature and obscure the function of legitimate literary criticism. 


I! 1 ! 


, 62, 

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Prof, G.N. Reddy, M.A.M.LitL, Ph.D. 
Head of the Department of Telugu. 

Dt. 3.4.1980. 
Dear Sri Rajeswara Rao garu, 

It was a pleasant opportunity I had at Delhi to visit you and to spend an 
evening with you on 28.3.80. 

I am herewith enclosing a brief report of my Department I request you 
to help me to develp the Department by undertaking some useful reseach 
projects to promote Telugu Studies. 

Please let me have any information you obtained to get financial assis- 
tance from Ministry of Education, or I.C.S.SJl. for research projects. 

I would like to know about any agency that could undertake to publish the 
Dictionary 7 of Hindustani Loans in Telugu or any support for its publication. 

1 shall send you a specimen page of the Dictionary after a week. 

1 would appreciate very much if you could reply and pass on any 
suggestion, advise or information to me on the above points.... 

With best regards, 

Sincerely yours, 

G Jsf. Reddy. 

V . Na rayana Rao 3> 5, 1980. 

Makers of modem literature series 


L &o 


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V.Narayana Rao 
4501 Onaway Pass 
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July 6, 1980 


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I had a lover's quarrel with the world" wfij ^p5)l C5*2sloi> ^^otT 8 

CS eJ 

28, 1990) 



Varadakalam. Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau.For copies: Navodaya 
Publishers, Vijayawada, Rs. 25. 

Andhra Ratna Duggirala Gopala Krishnayya is one of the legendary 
figures of Andhra. As K. Iswara Dutt puts it: "There was thunder on his brow 
and lightning in his looks." He represented Andhra at her best emphasising 
the emotional aspect. 

Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau, poet, thinker, journalist, critic and essay- 
ist, is a great admirer of Andhra Ratna and this is reflected in his latest 
publication 'Varadakalam' a collection of his articles published in a local 
daily during 1985. 

Gopalakrishnayya was a multifaceted genius, a 'sthita prajna' and lover 
of fine arts, says Varada; informs us that the great Nationalist Mohammed 
Ali called Andhra Ratna' s 'Ramadandu.' the Red Army of India. We arc also 
informed that the veteran stage actor Addanki Srirama Murti emulated the 
poetry recitation method of Andhra Ratna. 

More than forty eminent Andhras- Konda Venkatappaiah, PuchalapaJli 
Sundarayya, Basavaraju Appa Rao, Ballary Raghava, Addanki Srirama 
Murti, Abburi Ramakrishna Rau, Lanka Sundaram, Chalam, Sri Sri, Thapi 
Dharma Rao, Akkiraju Umakantham, Raclijkonda Viswanatha Sastri and a 
host of others-come alive in the pages of Varada's book. What he writes are 
essentially reminiscences. He does not draw conventional portraits. One is 
amazedathiscapacity toremembermatters which .happened . halfacentury 
ago with such sharp detail. Evidently he has no notes to depend upon. He 
draws the Vignettes with the aid of his phenomenal memory. 

The bode is not an autobiography, but collection of an intellectual's 
memories-memories of a genius who has seen several events in modern 
political and literary history from a ring-side seat. It provides back ground 
information about some of the stalwats who strode the Telugu literary seene 
with great gusto. The preset generation can find a wealth of information in 
the book about writers and theatre personalities of the previous era. 

Marked by objectivity and passion for truth, Varada f s reminiscences are 
laced wi A sparkling wit. His character sketches deftly and artistically drawn, 
remind us of Lytton Strachy's "Eminent Victorians". The difference, how- 
ever, is that Varada enjoys a greater measure of intimacy with the people he 
writes about. 

Varada's abundant sense of humour peeps through every page of the 
book, At one place, he says: "The Telugu man is like Duryodhana: he does 
not want anything for himself, but he wants that Dharmaraju should not get 

$66 353 

anything. Three Telugu people, if they come together, form a party; two will 
form a group, and one Telugu man will start an opposition". 

"Kavana Kuthuhalam" is the first publication in the series of Varada's 
memories and this is the second one. As an eminent journalist put it, Varada 
"has a lover's quarrel with the world" like Robert Frost and "all the day he is 
one of his characters". A thoroughly enjoyable book. 

The book is finely produced. The cover is drawn by 'Chandra'. 

('Indian Express 1 , Hyderabad, November 13, 1990.) 

SJb&S ' 

19856* ' 

68 n- 






, 28. 


, i) 29, 1986.) 

The Radical Humanist 

an independent monthly devoted to secular democracy 

Editor : V. M. Tarkunde B-17, Maharani Bagh, 

Managing Editor : R. M. Pal New Delhi. 11 0065. 

June 3, 1986 

My dear Rajeshwar, 

It is with deep sorrow that we received the news of the sad demise of your 
respected mother. Please accept our heartfelt condolences. 

I know too intimately you and your wife looked after her. Our thoughts 
are with you and all the members of the family. 

With warm regards, 


I*.**. 4!L 

Jlme 13, 1986 

My dear Rajeshwar Rao, 

I was grieved to learn of your mother's demise. 
I remember the kindness with. % ; which she treated me 
whenever I met her. I know how difficult it. is to 
reconcile oneself to the loss of one's mother, i send 
my heartfelt condolences to you and the bereaved family. 

Yours sincerely, 

(P.V. Naraslmha Rao) 

Shri A.V. Rajeshwar Rao, 
Block No.iV, Fiat No.4,HlG, 






1986 <* ' 

1989 * 

Dt 28.8.87. 
Dear Shri Abburi, 

I regularly follow your Kavana Kutuhalam in Andhra Prabha Weekly 

(SSS $j3b-^oo). I am very well acquainted with your father Late Shri 
Ramakrishna Rao while I was a student in A.U. College in 1934-36. As I am 
interested in Telugu literature, I am acquainted with almost many of the 
modern poets you mentioned in your Kavana Kutuhalam like Krishna Sastry, 


Puripanda, Sri Sri, Jaiasutram, Bapiraju (Adavi), Vedula, Viswanatha and 
others. I do not know how I could not meet you for such a long time. I want 
to meet you once, make your acquaintance and spend atleast an hour with you 
to exchange our ideas on modern Telugu literature.... 

So please drop a card to the above address when it will be convenient to 
you to spare an hour on one day. 

yours sincerely, 
283 S.R.T. Jawaharnagar, 

R.T.C.X Roads, M.V. Siva Ram Krishna 

Hyderabad ' Journalist. 




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, 25 2J-5, 1990) 



Natya Goshti: Nalugu Natakaiu. Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau, Pub- 
lished by VisalaGranthasala. For copies-Navodaya Publishers, Vijayawada. 
Rs. 25. 

Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau.... ty virtue of being the son of a great 
poet, he knew several literary giants intimately. He wrote about them in the 
Andhra Prabha Weekly for several weeks which was later published... 
Varada has now come out with a book with the title "Natya Goshti: Four 

Drama is the neplus ultra of literary expression. The origins of dramaane 
traceable to some form or other of religious ceremony. The theatre of today 
may be said to have had its birth in Greece and India. 

Even though the Telugu language is ancient, unfortunately the Telugo 
drama is only 100 years old. It was only during the last quarter of the 
nineteenth century that the stage in the Telugu country came into being 
mainly as a result of the indirect influence of the European theatre through 
the medium of English touring companies calling at Indian ports, on their 
way to the dominions and colonies. The cities of Bombay and Calcutta had 
the advantage of witnessing the performances of these mediocre touring 
companies, but the rest of India came to have an idea of the European drama 
only through the melodramatic and highly artificial renderings, of the 
travelling Parsi companies. "Chitranaleeyam"vfa$, perhaps, the first notable 
original play written and produced in Telugu. It was written by Dharmavaram 
KrishnamacharyidulmownastheA/id^ 'ChitraNaleeyam' 

and "Viskada Sarangadhara" (the first tragic play in Telugu) of Sarasa 
Vinodini Sabha of Bellary used to cast a spell on the audience when staged 
by the stalwarts of the period. 

The history of the Telugu drama has been a replica of that of Telugu 
literature in general. First came plays adapted from their Sanskrit parents. 
Then came elaborate super-structures over slender mythological anecdotes 
or frail historical nuclei. Then the Telugu playwright repaired to the regions 
of the here and the now and found dramatic tackle among the common people 
of a living society. 

The movement of Natya Goshti was started by Abburi Ramakrishna Rau 
about 65 years ago. Ramakrishna Rau got enacted the play "Kanyasulkam* 
for the first time in Western Andbra at Tenali. Abburi Senior, a doyen of the 
theatre movement in India, used three dimensional settings in plays in our 
state for the first time. 

The medium of film has ruined the theatre in Andhra, as it happened in 


several foreign countries also. The State Nataka Akademy's contribution to 
the theatre movement is negligible. The magnif icient work of 'Natya Goshti 1 
is to be viewed from this angle and understood in this perspective. Natya 
Goshti's plays are the products of a rich imagination. 

"Natya Goshti, Four Plays' contains a scholarly review of the develop- 
ment of Telugu drama. The book contains four plays. 

"Jolapata" (Lullaby) is a powerful satire on modern society It is a 

fantasy, an experimental play. Varada was inspired at the beginning of the 
Second World War by an English play and wrote the " Jolapata" , which was 
first produced at Waltair. The m usic was scored by the veteran composer and 
musicologistBalantrapuRajanikanthaRao. 'PratimaSundari'isaperiod play 
written about 50 years ago and won rich praise from the titan of Telugu 
literature, Malladi Ramakrishna Sastry . It is an adaptation of the English play 
"The Prince who was a piper" written by Harold Brigghouse. It was produced 
more than 200 times in Andrha. 

"SampangiThota" is a translation of Anton Chekhov's "Cherry Orchard". 
Varada teamed up with Sri Sri to write "Sampangi Thota". "Mukta Yatra" is 
aradio play written in 1 954 and revolves around a woman who seeks freedom 
from the shackles of convention. 

"Natya Goshti, Four Plays" slakes the thirst of the common lover of 
Telugu literature for good writing and one hopes that the plays will be widely 
staged by theatre groups. All in all, an excellent anthology. 

The book is dedicated to Mantri Srini vasa Rao, well-known theatre artiste 
of Hyderabad. The cover is designed by 'Chandra 1 . 

-(Indian Express', Hyderabad March 27, 1990.) 







C/o. Dr. S. Ramakrishna, M.D. 

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sro&ao* SSotfraao 

, & 24, 1993) 

Freedom within prison walls 
Prema Nanda kumar 

The passing away of Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau recently has meani 
a definite loss for modem Telugu poetry. Varada was no prolific poet, but he 
began writing early. It was not surprising, for his father Abburi Ramakrishna 
Rau had already created waves as a poet and political activist Like his father, 
Varada's interest in dramatics naturally left him no time to take on major 
topics for epic creations. A lyricist, Varada's most ambitious attempt was 
Cherakalam (Prison-time) which he wrote forty-five years ago. He was then 
in his twenties and was considered as a poet of great promise. 

In a recent re-issue of this work as part of his Kavitha Sanchika (1993), 
Varada has spoken of the events that led to his writing Cherakalam and the 
accident that prevented his publishing the same. Those were the days when 
youngsters like Sri Sri and himself were searching for a medium suitable to 
thier socialist learnings. Varada heard of a man imprisoned for killing his 
wife and children due to poverty. He had been restrained from suicide. When 
the world could not sustain him, how come it will not let him commit suicide 
either. Varada made use of this paradox to project the hapless condition of the 
poorpeople of this land. "This worldis akind of prison. We are bound forever 
within the walls 1 .Such is the philosophy of the poem which was commended 
by Sri Sri (who wrote a poem Kalakalam at about the same time): 

"Our songs and play 

in Vizag of yore 

shone brilliant: 

that was wonderful. 

Dream-Time and Prison-Time 

blossomed as our first epyllions! 


It was said that Sri Sri borrowed the only manuscript copy of Cherakalam 
from Varada and lost it Varada could never get back the original mood. He 
managed to put together what he could find in rough notes and collection 
titled Andaka was received well. But for forty years the book has remained 
out of print Fortunately Prabhakar Parakala has brought out a new edition of 


the work with the original title affixed to the Andaka group. 

How far is Prison-Time relevant today. And how does it compare with 
contemporary poetry. Cherakalam was the work of an angry young man. 
There are angry young poets today as well. Whereas the diction used by our 
young poets spewing out anger is desecratory in the extreme, it is interesting 
to note that even when giving vent to frustration, Varada's poems have a 
consecratory tone. This is no doubt because of the highly romantic diction 
that throws out traditional similies and metaphors with a prodigal hand. It is 
natural for him to speak of the "reddish brilliance of the feet of the directions- 
bride" (digvadhu charanaruna deepti) or "my silent heart's longings of the 
autumnal night (nimpeda mowna hridayechchanu neti saradvibhavarin). 

Again, despite all the present ills, the opening bars of Cherakalam avoid 
any call to violence and speak of a definite bright future: 

"It is not like the past. 

The olden days 

have passed by. 

Sign draw close to us 

of the way to man's freedom!" 

And the present . Is'nt it terrible. The poet assures us that this is the last 
hell for humanity. 

"This is not the way 

for the world to be on the move. 

Will you not hear 

the first dream 

of our prisoner 

sleeping in a room 

void of light" . 

The new earth can be ushered in only by a fearless humanity. As long as 
we would not allow the message of freedom that had been born in the course 
of history to be lost in selfishness, all will be well. But if we would allow the 
movement for freedom to break into festering sores due to pockets of egoism , 
woe unto man's future! What we need is not frustration but stern laughter. 
Remember, this crisis is our festival! Ee Pramadam manapanduga! 

Freedom is but a state of mind, says Varda's prisoner. "There is freedom 
with in the prison walls/No moment of liberty in the outside world!" Where 
is the meaning to life if one does nothing but run after earnings and food Day- 
to-day living is a waste if it is one long morning! How purposeless the life that 
is bound in the shackles of slavery! The prisoner of life wonders: Should he 
pity his own condition or mourn the condition of humanity. As for himself 
(the prisoner, the poet), this endless night is possibly the last pure moment of 


"In the hopeless life of darkness 

I was a constant traveller 

of dream-pathways. 

For gaining Ananda 

I sought the good way 

in the writings ofyeasterday. 
* In the dark yesterdays 

I longed for 

the unattainable good. 

I am now left with a dream-life 

with houses made of airy-nothing" . 

And yet the prisoner has dreamt a great dream and would rather warn his 
listeners. No return to the past! Do not be a reactionary to escape the present! 
That way lies racial suicide. For ever, march forward! Man had learnt the 
value of mutual help when tilling die soil. But civilization as such has been 
a suffocationg coat of mail. The possibility of gaining liberty from the present 
civilisation by entering the super-conscious state had been posited by Sri 
Aurobindo. But alas, he too died. But should that mark the condition as 

Cherakdam is literally choked with death imagery and concludes with a 
sharp focus on the prisoner's wife: 

"Sita and Chandramati 

were wives of rich princes. 

My unfortunate wife 

was the daughter of naked hunger. 

Born in poverty 

and to die in want 

is our life: 

a daily affair 

we decided to escape 

by committing suicide. 

First I tilled 

my darling wife." 

Containing the early blossoms of a sincere artist Cherakalam has not lost 
any of its significances. Humanity continues its purblind attempts to peer at 
a possible light at the end of the tunnel that is choked by the nuclear menace. 
The poor and the downtrodden citizens of nations continue to destoy their 
near and the dear out of frustration and themselves seek freedom through a 
violent end. Sorrowing lies our land where the moral fibre is in tatters. The 
last hell' continues to be active and hence Varada's angiushed cry remains 
alive, emotionally provocative, a message of the wounded wayfarer, bloody 


but unbowed: 

Walk by yourself 

under the light of self-consoling eyes 

unconversing with the walking defeats 

Walk tireless 

Along streets straight and unreaching 

Do not lift the eyes 

At the reeling stars, unwatching 

The Weeping sky's prayer 

Walk in seach ofunreached truth." 

CNewstime 1 , Sunday August 1, 1993) 










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R. Viswanatha Sastry 

15.12.15, Maharanipeta, 

Dt. 13.04.1993. 
Dear Rajeswara Rao, 

I was shocked to learn you have been ill. I am now relieved to know that 
you now I improving. I hope and wish that you would soon be your joyous 
and healthy self again. 1 have a strong desire to come and see you myself. But 
my doctors here have strictly advised me not to stir out and not even to go to 
court. 1 am managing somehow with my juniors. My kidneys have proved 
disloyal to me and that is the whole trouble. 

I wish that there should be God or Gods above us so that I can pray him 
or them for you to get well sooner than later. We all cannot afford to see you 
ailing, and in bed. I am sure you will be very soon your old and young jolly 
and joking self again, going out of your way to help all and sundry and 
especially your friends. 

I have completed the novel which I promised to dedicate to Hanurao's 
daughter. Those who have read it, say it is good, if you are in a mood to read 
it I will send you xerox copies of the same. Apart from Hanurao's daughter, 
I am dedicating the novel to my wife Ramam also who left me suddenly and 
in great frustration which event has left me in greater sorrow and troubles 
than I would like to admit I am so longing to see you and share my joys and 
sorrows with you. 

You are a true friend. You are a noble soul. There is none like you. With 

best wishes for your speedy recovery. 

Affectionately yours, 

(R.V. Sastry) 



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Dr. DJN. Rao & 
Mrs. D. Visalakshi, 

Dear Chaya Devi garu, 

The news of Varada's demise was most shocking. Words cannot express 
the depth of our feeling of loss. Our most heart- felt condolences to you 
on the sad bereavement 

Yours sincerely, 



, SD 

a* 3*5$ 


Nanduri Ramamohna Rao 


G.S. Bhargava 


New Delhi. 

May 7, 1993. 

I was shocked to read the sad news in the newspapers. I feel bereaved by 
the loss of a friend of more than three decades of association and shared 
interests. So I can imagine your loss. But as an elder person, let me console 
you and try to share some of your sorrow. The very strength of your love for 
him should sustain you through this ordeal. May God be with you in the 

May his soul rest in peace. 








, So 




So ^ 


M-35 Greater Kailash-I, 
New Delhi-1 10048. 
May 8, 1993. 
Dear Mrs. Rau, 

It is with deep shock that we came to know of the passing away of my very 
dear friend. My wife and I wish we could be with you at this time. 
please do accept our heatfelt condolences. 

Although/Rajeswar and I didn't meet each other since my visit to your 
place a few years back, we have always remembered you and thought of you. 

With regards from both of us, 


It's only this morning that I came to know (from a friend) of the sad news- 
I missed the news item in the papers. 

yours sincerely 

R.M. Pal. 


Retd. Deputy Municiapal Commissioner. 10.5.93 

Times 5* 

^ !)TT/C 
M-o< / 


OF.V.G Krishnamurty 

Res: 9B Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg, 

New Delhi- 110003 
10th, May 1993. 
Dear Smt. Chaya Devi Garu, 

The sudden news of demise of my valued friend Shri Abburi Rajeswara 
Rau, whom I always treated as my elder brother shocked me so much that I 
could not do a thing except sending a phonogram expressing condolences to 
you on behalf of myself and my family. I enjoyed his guidance and affection 
for nearly three decades. I always admired his razor-sharp mind, his intellec- 
tual excellence and magnificiet sense of humour even in times of extreme 
difficulties. As a poet, writer and thinker he earned a valued place not only 
among his contemporaries but admiration as well of younger generations. 

I can never forget in mylife, the appreciation, encouragment and support 
I received from both of you in my most trying years. When I was getting the 
news on telephone and from others that he was steadily improving, myself, 
Padma and Babu felt relieved. But we never imagined God to snatch him 
away from us so soon. I spoke to my wife Padma, who is still in Chirala, on 
phone and she was also stunned and shocked by the news. 

What Can I write to you expect expressing our deep condolances to you 
in your terrible time of distress. 

Only thing we could do is to pray God that his noble soul may rest in 

Most Sincerely Yours 

G.V.G. Krishnamurty 

. 12.5.93. 






MJRam Reddy, M.A. B.CJ. 
F.L. Journalist. 

Post: UTOORU, 

Dt. 15.5.93. 

IbCb 6o3bJ* ^ot>$ crStfdo'jrd Fdfr 2>oo ^0606. 37 




Dr. A. Jaya Prabha 

Moulali Railway Colony, 

Hyderabad. Hyderabad, 







Viswanatha Publications, 
31-3-7, Viswanadhapuram 

Maruthinagar, Vijayawada-520004. 1 -6-93 . 









"KALAPRAPURNA" Vijayawada. 

Dr. B. Rajanikanta Rao 26.6.9 


r-x. "* -> 


eflbjfi 20.7.1993. 




The Hindu 

Dear Chaya Devi garu, 

I never thought I will write to you. When Rajeswara Rau passed away, 

I heard the news in Delhi which I was vising after 10 years. My son Naga is 

there and I and my wife went to visit him. The news came as a big shock for 

only a few days earlier I learnt about his new assignment...Three days later 

Rajeswar Rau was no more. 1 was greatly upset and so did members of my 

family. Please accept our sincere condolences on your bereavement. As 

Viswanatha Sastri wrote in his article, we have known him for 60 years and 

we maintained the most cordial relations. It was my luck that I renewed my 

contacts with him in Delhi and those 15 yrs are unforgettable. I imagine we 

met almost everyday. Sastri wrote a graphic account... As a student he never 

bothered about his studies in the sense that he had no ambition to top the list 

He had a contempt for people who laboured hard to achieve small gains. He 

loved his friends and was deeply loyal to them. 1 was one of them and I 

enjoyed his friendship immensely. It is a great pity he passed away so 


I can't write more and I hope to see you when I come to Hyderabad. 

with Best wishes 

yours sincerely 



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A very worthy son of a worthy father ! 

, 3o 19.25, 1993) 

Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau 

[P. Vatnan Rao] 

The ways of destiny are inscrutable, whether it is in respect of individuals 
or nations, the hour of triumph may also turn out to be a moment of defeat or 
setback. It is a sign of a jsut order, if merit in anyone if he chose to withdraw 
into 5 cell of seclusion, is recognised ..... the appointment of Sri Abburi 

Rajeswara Rau, a fine writer, a fine poet and a journalist who 

contributed to Telugu literature without any hope of reward or return has to 
be welcomed. It is sad that within a short time of his taking charge as 
Chairman of the Official Language Commission, Sri Rajeswara Rau passed 
away on May 3, after battling for life for about 4 weeks in the hospital, even 
as he had struggled in his early career to get work according to his taste. In 
addition to all his literary endeavours, it was as Editor in the Allied 
Publishers, New Delhi, where he worked for several years that he seems to 
have found satisfaction. 

"Varada" as he was affectionately called by his Mends came from a 
literary background. His father late Sri Abburi Ramakrishna Rau was, a 
litarateur with a revolutionary fervour. Father and son came under the 
influenceof RN.Roy whose battle-cry was radical humanism. Varada was 
well-versed in theatre arts aoL..he produced plays. 

He made good friends in political and literary circles and maintained 
good contacts with influential persons by the charms of his personality, his 

tf tf Si \& 469 

ability to converse meaningfully with onginality and outspokenness 

I have known Rajeswara Rau for well-nigh 45 years. We were in close 
touch with each other in all his ups and downs till he left Hyderabad. He was 
a lively conversationalist, with a cutting humour which came to him irresist- 
ibly and flowed like water, while he could be relentless opponent, he could 
also be a staunch Mend who could stand by you solidly... 

His death is a loss to the State and to the Telugu literature in particular... 

(New Swatantra Times 1 May 1993.) 


f 21.5.93) 









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With a heavy heart, I stand before you to pay homage to the memory of 
my good old friend and well-wisher, Sri Abburi Varada Rajeswara Rau. 
When Iwas asked to participate in this condolence meeting, I agreed 
irresistibly but I was hesitant to agree to speak. For, I am not used to public 
speaking and further I had written what I felt about him in my column in New 
Swatantra Times. But when I got the card yesterday billing me as the very 
first speaker, I was left with no choice and thought that late Varada, as he was 
lovingly called by those close to him, wished it so. 

To me it is all like a dream or a phantasmagoria of a sweet as well as a 
frightful dream. His resurrection as it were and disappearance so soon after, 
as if he waited for a reward for his life-long work, is all dream like. For, he 
had, to use his own expression, gone into a cell of seclusion for the last ten 
years occasionally contributing to newspapers. It is to you sir,Sri 
Vijayabhaskara Reddy goes the credit of recognizing Varada's worth and 
work and made him Chairman of the State Official Language Commission 
which he fully deserved but alas it came too Late in life when his health was 
none too good. The blame is not Sri Vijayabhaskara Reddy 's. It is all God's 
will which is inviolable. In fact, it is one of Sri Reddy's merits that he 
recognizes talent silently without exhibiting it and does reward the deserving 

Rajeswara Rau was known to Sri Vijayabhaskara Reddy for over quarter 
century. His literary attainments, his conversational acumen, original ideas 
and PJR. talent impressed the Chief Minister. He expected Rajeswara Rau 
would make considerable contribution to the spread and development of the 
official language. Therefore, none can be sorrier than the Chief Minister on 
the death of Sri Rajeswara Rau. I cannot, at this distant date, exactly say when 
I first met Rajeswara Rau. But it was definitely after the Police Action in 
1948-49 period probably at the instance of my guru late Sri K. Iswara Dutt 
who was P.R.O. to Sir Mirza Ismail when he was Prime Minister of the 
erstwhile Hyderabad State. Rajeswara Rau who had known S ri Dutt, worked 
under him. By the time I met Varada, he had already worked as a journalist 
in Indian Express and Andhra Prabha and had come ?nto contact with 
veterans in the profession. Those of us who were here used to be regaled by 
him, with the stories of the stalwarts in Andhra journalism, their achieve- 
ments as well as idiyosyncracies.Varada was always outspoken and never 
hesitated to lay bare the foibles of the great. He had added advantage in 
-knowing most of them at close quarters due to the association with them of 

490 acSS} vD 


his illustrious father Sri Abburi Ram;ikrishna Rao, the celebrated librarian of 
Andhra University. The office Ramakrishna Rao held cannot denote his 
literary stature or learning . He was an elegant poet and a gifted author. Varada 
inherited his literary talent and acquired journalistic experience. I am not 
competent to assess his literary achievements in Telugu, which I hope other 
speakers will do ably. I shall confine myself to his journalistic work and 
certain of his political interests in his early career and contributions with 
which I am familiar. 

RajeswaraRau brought to Hyderabad a fresh journalistic breath. Though 
at that time he did not represent any newspaper as such, he was somewhat of 
a leader to all of us. he kept in close touch with us and moved with us, giving 
us valuable advice. I recollect he was the prime mover and architect of atleast 
twojournalist Conferences, one presided over or inauguratedby Sri Kotamraju 
Rama Rao and another by Sri N. Raghunatha Iyer of The Hindu. He had the 
dynamism and initiative to persuade or make a VIP come to a meeting. He 
made SriMK. Vellodi the then Counsellor to address the Conference. It was 
his idea to institute shoebullah Khan Memorial lecture. Shoebullah, editor of 
a nationalist daily fell a prey to Razakar's perfidy. The first lecture was 
delivered by Khasa Subba Rao in 1952. But alas, it remained the last one. 

Varada had the knack and gift of gathering people, to organize, obtain 

their cooperation and coordinate. With compelling persuasiveness he could 

collect ftmds for a conference just what is needed for it and he would then 

wash off his hands with a treat to all of us. That was Varada. He would spend 

away the last pie of his without thinking of the morrow. That was his attitude 

in those days. He used to meet me almost every day and we moved together 

day after day. I was then in The Hindu and sometimes we would meet 

political leaders and celebrities together. I could not say how he got involved 

in Congress politics and got personally attached to leaders like Sri D.G. 

Bindu, Sri Madapati Ramachandra Rao and Janardhan Rao Desai who three 

controlled the Congress for 2 or 3 years till 1952, as Trio or Trimurthis. 

Rajeswara Rau had the gift of ingratiating himself into the affections of one 

whom he liked. The trio took an instinctive liking for him and in fact were 

charmed by him. They confided in him in a way and he did certainly got 

involved indirectly, but more to highlight them and their views. He edited 

Sardar Patel's speeches. He wrote articles from time to time, more than that 

subtly influenced journalists to write. He had his close followers among 


RajeswaraRau and his father were esentially Royists, having come under 
the spell and influence of M.N .Roy . They were progressive writers introduc- 


ing modernism into Telugu prose and poetry. Rajeswara Rau, however did 
not persist in that line and got attracted to PR and journalism. In this setting, 
he was equally well with Sri B. Ramakrishna Rao the then Chief Minister of 
Hyderabad. His capacity to make friends was immense but many friendships 
broke away as time progressed but a few valuable remained steadfast. The 
fact that Sri P.V. Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister enquired about his health 
from abroad when he was hospitalised shows how he carved a niche in his 
heart and also the concern of P.M. for an old friend. That was Rajeswara 
Rau's forte. 

It was as a result of his proximity with those out of power, that they made 
efforts to settle him in a comfortable job, when they assumed power. Thus, 
Rajeswara Rau joined as a PRO - many may not know this - in Sirpur Paper 
Mills for which I work now. While so, he continued his contacts with leaders, 
literary men and journalists. If I remember right he represented Bharat, a 
Bombay daily, started by Sardar Patel for a while. For pastures new, he 
migrated to Delhi in 1958 and joined Allied Publishers in an editorial 
capacity. The assignment seemed to be in his mien. For, Rajeswara Rau could 
edit well, correct mistakes and give an artistic touch to a copy. He had a 
penchant for precise and fine expression. He got time to read and write. He 
kept in touch with the cream of Andhra citizenry in Delhi. On the sixtieth 
birthday of Sri Iswara Dutt who was then in Hindustan Times and later 
Leader of Allahabad, he produced a neat volume of tributes to this doyen of 
journalism. He had a flair for publications with an eye on art, lively captions 
and good printing. 

I have a feeling that over twenty years when he was in Delhi engaged in 
publication of books, was his best period with his talented wife Chaya Devi 
by his side. She was a Deputy Librarian in Jawaharlal Nehru University. Both 
of them together developed good and influential contacts which stood them 
in good stead. Varada played his own part in bringing people together but 
when once he clashed with anyone he would not hesitate to expose him. If 
lively and humorous conversation was his asset, his calling spade a spade and 
a certain abrasive expressions at times created enemies for himself. But, he 
was not the one to care. So, when he came back from New Delhi to settle 
down here in 1 98 1 , he found many of his old political and journalistic friends 
had disappeared. While pursuing his writing and journalistic activities, he 
withdrew as if to a shell, going out occasionally to attend a wedding or meet 
a friend However, he kept in touch with steadfast friends of his liking and 

I must mention that I was in close touch with him till he left for Delhi and 
I lent a helping hand in his strivings including the building up of journalists 


of unity and association. I continued to meet him of and on when my work 
as Director of Information, Public Relations and Tourism, A.P. Government 
took me to Delhi. When he returned to Hyderabad he and his wife did call on 
me to tell that they would be in Hyderabad in their own flat in Lingampally. 
I must confess that while I did not lose touch with him and his wife 
completely, my work in a different field deprived me of that consanguinity 
which I had before his departure to North. He was obviously pleased when 
I published two poems from Modern Telugu Poetry, an anthology edited by 
Chaya Devi in New S watantra duly acknowledged. In the April issue which 
I sent him, I had published a poem by his father and footnote about his 
appointment as Chairman of the official Language Commission. 

While I got briefed about his health daily during the period he was in 
hospital, I could see him only once and it was after a long gap. He was pleased 
to see me, an old friend. He was all smiles but could not express himself 
except by signs. When I reminded him of some of his humorous pet 
expressions of old days, he replied with a smile. It was as if memories of the 
past when we moved closely with me for 10 years rushed to his mind. He held 
my band and released when I rose to leave, which touched the inner core of 
my heart. His wife showed him the journal in which there was reference to 
him , saw it apparently happy. I took it he was convalescing and would be back 
home, even if he was unable to work. Fate willed otherwise. He was one of 
my best well-wishers. I was among the few who attended his funeral on a hot 
afternoon. It was fitting that he was given state honours for which the Chief 
Minister should be thanked as it was symbolic of the respect shown to the 
class of journalists, writers, poets and scribes as a whole. As the flames went 
up, the irresisitible feeling which came to my mind, was as if he had tarried 
on this planet for recognition and such honours, a feeling which is shared by 
the Chief Minister. 

Rajeswara Rau's death removes from our midst a fine specimen of a 
gentleman, a journalist of his own vintage and a poet and a writer of his own 
individual stamp. At a time when we all expected, after his assumption of 
office as Chairman of Official Language Commission, that he would bring 
a new life into it, he was taken away from us, leaving us the poorer. 





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[VaradaRajeswaraRau's short story 'Akasam', translated by the Author] 

The afternoon was very hot The stranger sat huddled like a sack, farther 
from the crowd sitting around the burning pyre. His whole body convulsed 
now and again as a fresh sob shook him. Seen from behind it seemed as 
though he were caught in a dreadful fit of cough. 

Why was he weeping so? Didn't he know that men die, and that they live 
never knowing how or when the end reaches them? That some die in their 
beds soundless, not leaving a single relative's moan behind them? That some 
die to the secret notes of death and others, blowing a farewell kiss? That some 
rest in their best chairs full of assurance, only to breathe their last? Death is 
not evitable. 

The man was still sobbing. The priests went on chanting. Their accents 
rose and fell on the still mind like memory and its loss. The vedk hymns 
recited in the loud, sonorous sing-song, under the straight afternoon sky, hurt 
him like truth escaping the mind. The smoke rose from the crackling pyre, 
hung indecisively for a while, and then scattered itself into space, into the 
dead man's past of woes and dreams. 

The man lifted his eyes at the sky. The sun was right over his head. The 
heat seemed to have grown considerably since the pyre was lit A film 
gathered over his eyes. All of a sudden everything went dark. One looks for 
light and sees darkness, he thought, groping in the sudden blindness. Was it 
the secret behind creation? The line between life and death? He questioned 
himself, not waiting for an answer. 

r The darkness cleared. It was momentary. Thoughts fluttered in his mind. 
The dead man's life rose before his eyes. The pieces made a pattern. He was 
surprised. He had never seen it so. He peered closely. What a host of 
activities! It was an overcrowded life, really. Music, literature, public life, 
politics, sex, renunciation-he had an enormous appetite for them. And he had 
never stinted himself anything. 

And yet, the man asked himself-what had the fellow really achieved- 
except that paltry death? 

The fire had spread to the bamboo stretcher. The wood crackled. Like 
millions of squirrels breaking huts with their little sharp teeth, he thought 

And then those last hours! 

A woman's body had stood casting its shadow over the poor man's 
frenzied thoughts of renunciation. The wife and family waited like silent 
dolls, more distant than ever. God, it was awful! And the man had thirsted 
alternately for music and prayer. 


A smell he had not noticed before, rose from the pyre. The crackling 
ceased. It was the stench he felt now, heavy and approaching. He put a thick 
towel over his head and walked in the direction of the village. As he passed 
along the narrow lane the villagers looked at him with quizzical sympathy as 
they do, sometime, at strangers. 

When he reached the house, he noticed how silent it had grown. He 
stopped abruptly at the thresholdaHe wheeled round and entered the yard by 
the back door. The yard was full of trees, with a circular well in the middle. 
He remembered he had to take the ritual bath. It was hot and he was sweating. 
The girl was sitting by the well near a little flower shrub. The eldest daughter 
of the dead man. There were many people in the yard, collected in small 
groups. Everyone was engrossed, speaking in new, hushed tones. 

The stranger's eyes sought the girl's face with an inquisite enquiry. The 
face gave away her utter helplessness. There was pity in his looks. Her eyes 
were blank of future and dry. His own were tear-stained. Had he, a stranger, 
the right to cry? may be the girl's sorrow had no visible form, he thought, with 

His fingers lay on the fringe of the well. It was damp. He looked at it. 
There was a thick green coat of moss on the broken bricks. The ancient well. 
He wondered if the girl knew its age. He bent and peered down at the waters. 
Generations of men and women had drawn its waters, cleansed themselves, 
and quenched their thirst. It never got drained even once, he remembered the 
dead man telling him often. 

Then it struck him that the girl was sitting by the well. So she had again 
stolen back to it. There was some secret attachment between them, the girl 
and the well. She always returned to it, when people failed her. 

He thought of the last occasion. She had tried to end her life in it. And 
as she ficated on the waters, her eyes held by the sky, she had seen life 
mirrored in its blue. Sun and shower, night and day, thunder and lightning- 
the sky seemed to contain them all in in its vastness. The life on the earth was 
there painted across the sky. Bright, beautiful clouds, drifted with aimless 
elegance, and melted with a gradual suddenness. 

She had-no friends, nor any hopes. Life had no meaning without them. 
The' world was always crushing her. Life had no attractions for her. On the 
earth there was only death holding its mute invitation. 

Thank heavens she did not die. It had at least revealed to her parents the 
gulf between her and the husband. 

The neighbours scented that something was wrong. Everyone essayed a 
guess. But the girlls secret remained with- in her bosom. Maybe the well 
shared it too. Did the well remember it now, he wondered. He stared at the 
waters and answered himself. The old waters had been drawn out. The well 
must have lost its memory of the secret. 


He looked at her again, and whispered to himself Thank Heavens she did 
not die! She had lived through the moment between dying and death, when 

the sky was neither a reality nor an illusion, and it had called to her tenderly, 
"Come my child! You are not scared by death? Not really? It is release for 
caged breath. Let your breath move in me, freely, freely, my child. Leave the 
body, my child. Bring your hopes to me, to me, rny child". 

Since then, the sight of the sky always set her heart quivering. Like a cloud 
troubled with the weight of waters. Whenever she was alone sitting in the 
open, she would glance at it stealthily. And that would set her quivering like 
a dry leaf. She would then hear the sky calling to her while under the feet, the 
earth lay with its mute invitation. 

At the village fringe, the pyre was still burning. And by the well the girl 
sat, her head still bent, thoughts flitting across her mind. Her own thoughts. 

The father is no more. They are penniless now. Girls to be married and 
boys to be educated. What would happen to them? Her brother was not 
young. But he was so inexperienced. She owed her plight largely to him. He 
had steered her childhood. They shared many dreams and many ideas even 
now. When they were children they had one dream between them-the shape 
and size of the heaven that was to be theirs. They spent all their time in their 
castles, high up in the air. To them the dream world was more clear than the 
visible one. They never heard the other world's foot-steps, coming nearer as 
they grew. They were engrossed in training themselves for the world they 
hoped to inherit. 

The girl had her first rude awakening on the bridal night. The bedroom 
was her nightmare. Her words to him U I have come to offer you my body. The 
heart remains with me". She could always hear, her first words to her groom. 
And she could never feel differently with the passage of time. 

The poor man had been taken aback, he had entered the room with a crowd 
of hopes-love, home, children, happiness, he felt as if the story one was 
reading had suddenly became real and one was beingjostledby its characters. 

That moment marked their separation. Between her mind and body a 
battle raged. The thick shadows which rose on that night remained like an 
unscalable wall. 

As long as her father was alive she did as she wished. There was then only 
one problem for her. Now the problem was hereself. That large family had 
to be taken care of. Till then they had never bothered to know how the wheels 
revolved. His death would now open their eyes to unsuspected .problems. 
They would never again live the way they did never worrying, never 
knowing want. The present had become blank. God knew what the future 

She searched her heart carefully. She had a duty to the family. What was 


it? Her responsibilities now,what were they? The younger sisters have to be 
married.But what answer had she if any busybody asked her when she would 
be going to her husband's? There was the brother. He was a problem too, 
wantirg to marry a married girl. The law would not allow it. Neither would 
society forgive such an act. But he was bent on marrying that girl, Sita. The 
sister had a secret sympathy for her brother's desire. Sita was a girl like 
herself, divorced from happiness. The prospect of her tasting the blessings ofc 
marriage once again was inspiring to herself. If it could happen! If only it did! 
None would dare again to speak to her of going back to the husband. 

The stranger finished his bath. He saw her shaking like an aspen leaf. She 
did not have the courage to speak to him. Her eyes were fixed on the horizon. 
He stood a little aside and began, "It won't do any good if you lose courage. 
The children are young. They need your courage". He went on, not knowing 
what escaped his lips. She did not seem to listen. He continued, "Don't worry 
about yourself. Your are not responsible for what happened. Whatever your 
father had been, he never lacked courage. He did what he wished." 

The girl rose. The skirts of her saree rustled with her trembling. Tears 
filled her eyes. She looked at him. How long would she go on staring like 
that? Maybe she was going out of her senses. What should he do if she 
suddenly lost her senses? He did not know. People slowly gathered at the 
house front. He could hear them. They had returned form the crematory. He 
turned on his heels and rushed into the house. 

At last the night fell on the house of death. The girl sat with her two 
brothers making plans for the future. She would take up a job she declared. 
The elder brother's thoughts centred around Sita. 

The younger one was only a half-brother. A widow's child. He had been 

brought up with the others in the same house. The mother had died at his birth. 

And to-day he had become fatherless. He lost more than the others. For him 

only the past remained, he had not the courage to take a hand in the decisive 

talk that went on. But he was thinking. And making silent resolutions. He 

would work hard. Very hard. He would help the family. His family. But was 

wish worth anything! Could he really do it? What was going to happen to 

them? to him? Had he a place 'still in that house now that the one link that held 

him to them was broken? His father had died and released him from the 

family circle. But the release had brought him no sense of freedom. He had 

a newresolutionjj; was the only thing to do. He should leave that house. They 

had lived as brothers and sisters in that house for so many years. He had 

become used to it. So he merely said. "I shall do as you may say" . The stranger 

sat in the next room. It was dark. He was thinking too. Only love and 

sympathy, he thought, made men. All the rest was false and momentary. He 

had come so far because his friend had died. Only that small relationship, and 


here he was worrying over that family's problems. He thought there was no 
way out for them. Their minds had not grown towards peace and understand- 
ing. There was no one in the family who was adult. Very early in life their 
thoughts had strayed into strange paths. Living in itself cannot be a problem. 
The servant folk have families-large ones frequently and they lived, not 
without happiness and satisfaction. Yes, the family would go on. He was sure 

of it. 

They sat late into the night discussing. Life seemed to begin once again. 

The tenth day marked the arrival of the girl's grandfather and the uncle, 
that is. the dead man's uncle and his son-in-law. 

The old man was fond of advice. He had given it all his life, he never bore 
any responsibility. The uncle was one ahead of him. He not only gave advice, 
but meddled in everything that went around him. All the people listening to 
him-that was his idea of happiness. He craved for it. And like his father-in- 
law, he too hated responsibility. He was the father of twelve children. He was 
always talking. He spoke without concern for others' sensibilities. He took a 
special delight in insulting strangers. And he took every opportunity of doing 
it by thought, word and deed. 

They put their heads together. The family must be saved from a moral fall, 
they decided. That meant two things. Sending the girl by force if necessary, 
back to the husband and marrying the boy off immediately. 

The uncle hated the girl for some reason, he always asked himself one 
question. That was: "Why does'nt she live with her husband"? And he would 
never give himself a satisfactory answer. He saw women as a contraption that 
brought forth children. The sight of a woman with lots of children pleased 
him. he felt like a gardener who sees his tree full of fruit. He never tried to 


know her mind. But he was always doling out advice to her. To force the girl 
to go and live with her husband was his deepest wish. He was willing to do 
anything to bring that about. He first argued that the girl was immoral, he dug 
out a ten-year-old incident and said that when the girl was at school, she had 
tried to run away with a boy. He said it was even doubtful whether she was 
really fitted for a woman's life. He listed the occasions when he had tried and 
she had thwarted his plans to send her back to her husband. 

On the day when the relatives were departing he called for the girl and 
stated in front of everyone in very certain terms that she should return to her 
husband's home. "I wish to forget" was all that she said. 

They had a doubt and they put it to her squarely. "You say you are seeking 
employment. Can you protect your self in a big city?" She made a promise 
then, that she would never bring diagrace to the family. 

The uncle was not convinced. His thoughts shifted to the stranger who 
was moving about like one of the family. Who was he? Why had the fellow 

* .. - 
vwUujiwj \ej 

come there? What right had he? Why did the girl's brother respect him so 
much? Doubts asailed him. To his eyes the stranger appeared as the wall that 
stood between the girl and her husband. 

After the rites and ceremonies were over, the family returned to the city. 
As days went ty, they thought less and less of the dead man. The boy's 
thoughts of Sita became insistent. Between himself and his people he saw a 
new gulf. That, deprived of selfishness, man's life dwindless into nothing, 
was the creed that manifested itself in his belief. 

They somehow managed to make ends meet. But his dissatisfaction 
increased gradually. He acquired fear of letting himself think. He at last 
surrendered himself to two friends. Of them, one was a distant relative of the 
family. He was a Govt. official, rich, friendless, full of strong desires, strange 
wishes but without courage. He had no confidant. It was his widowed sister 
that the dead man had loved till his death, he was married and has a son. To 
have a great love affair was his over whelming desire. He finally fell in love 
with a middle-aged widow who had fourchildren. He spent hours sitting with 
her, talking for hours, not daring to reveal his desire. And he confided this 
love of his to the girl's brother. 

He kept awake at nights wishing his wife were dead, wondering how 
much longer his old fatherwould live. His heart was like a heap of broken 
glass, each piece catching a glint and reflecting the fraction of a shape. If only 
a great love would enter his life, he would ask for nothing el^e. The days had 
no peace for him. As the evenings drew near he would go to their house and 
hold an endless conversation with the girl's brother. It was always about love 


affairs^ and the attendant scandals. It was always he who spoke, hoping that 
the girl would overhear him. and that gave him a strange satisfaction, he 
suspected that she carried her morals lightly. He cultivated her brother's 
intimacy, in the hope of gaming access to her. 

He had a nephew. Though nearly twenty years old, he was incredibly 
innocent. He always sought the company of women; they puzzled him 
greatly; He wondered about women the way a child was curious about dolls, 
he would sit among people talking about love and sexwide - eyedand 
thoroughly engrossed, he spent many an hour in the girl's company. He never 
let her go out of his sight. When she spoke to other men, his heart was shot 
with pain. He would twist the incident and note it down in a small diary which 
he carried in his breast pocket. He told her friends that she was an immoral 
slut, and to her he whispered that they were dangerous acquaintances. The 
neighbours were familiar with the brothers unspeakable affair and the dead 
man's notorious life. They wondered if the girls would never be married. The 
brother ransacked the town for eligible bachelors. When each attempt failed, 
he blamed it on his sister: "She is responsible for all this", he told everyone. 


One day the uncle came and working himself up into a temper, made a 
scene before the entire neighbourhood. He shouted hysterically that the girl 
was beyond redemption, that the family would go to utter ruin if she did not 

leave them. And having said his hearts say, he left abruptly, as though he had 
done his mission ; n life. The brother and the others came to bel'eve that the 
girl was in truth the great obstacle to their happiness. The love-mad friends 
of her brother fearing that the advent of others into the family would upset his 
own plans, began to declare that the girl's conduct was certainly suspicious. 
Like a crow protecting her nest, he fought the invisible strangers. 

As the girl learnt these things, she was dazed. She thought for a moment 
that her leaving might really bring peace to them, since she had brought in 
all the unhappiness. But the family needed the money she was now earning. 
If she really went back to her husband, what would lhappen to her young 
sisters and the baby brother? She would not be able to help them any more. 
Besides, how could she go back to him? That whole night she cried. 

Early the next day, she went to her brother and said "I am ready to do any 
sacrifice. I only want all of you to be happy. I'll pluck and throw my heart out. 
Fll go back to him. And forgive me, for all the pain I have caused". 
- The brother could not believe his ears. If she really went away he would 
have to run the family all by himself! He would never be able to do it. He had 
not thought of these consequences earlier. Suddenly cowardice overtook 
him. He did not want to express his fears to her. So he said: "How can we be 
certain that he will take you back"? and went on in a high voice, tinged with 

pain: "It's all over the town. That you re in love with that that fellow. 

Maybe your husband has heard it too?". 

When she heard his words she felt as though someone had suddenly 
slapped her very hard. She had not expected her brother of all people, to speak 
to her like that. Tears filled her eyes. She spoke in a low, broken voice: "He 
came to weep with us, because he was our father's friend. Have you also come 
to believe like the others"? 

The brother said nothing. He stood up and left abruptly. 
The girl went up to her room. Her heart was beating fast. She wanted to 
weep. There were some books on the bed. She took them up. A few sheets of 
note-paper fell down. She picked them up and glanced at the writing. She 
stopped short. It was a diary of her life logged by the innocent boy. She never 
suspected that he was shadowing her day and night and writing down such 
lies about her. Why did they all suspect her in that manner? What was her 

She stood for a while with the papers in her hand. Before her was the 
mirror. She went close to it. She put up her hand to wipe the eyes. She saw 
the scar towards the left of the forehead. She touched it with her fingers, 


softly. That was her scar, indelible. She began to remember the afternoon 
years ago, when she had tried to drown herself. The Well, the sudden distaste 
for living, the struggle between the mind and body and her surrender came 
vividly to her memory. Tears stood in her eyes and did not drop. 

Her knee shook with a surge of weakness. She coi/ld not stand any more 
before that mirror. She heard a voice calling to her from a distance: "Come 
out 1 ' it said "Come", it entreated. With faltering steps, she walked to the 
balcony. Her head dropped on the chest. 

Again, the well, the attempt to drown herself, rose before her eyes. The 
waters seemed to be coming upto her waist. She was trying to raise herself 
out of the waters. And she was drowning, going deep under the water. The 
tender waters were lapping around her. 

She lifted her moist eyes and looked once at the sky. 

The earth under her feet trembled once more. The seven rivers of the sky 
fell like coloured cascades down on the earth. The clouds moved hurriedly. 
They seemed to' be going nowhere. Light and darkness were flickering 
between moments. 

The sky opened its face. A great tenderness spread all over. The girl made 
a sudden run, shouting "Mother, Tarn coming. This time Tarn coming". She 
dropped on to the ground. 

The doctor examined and said in a serious voice: "The limbs are 


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[written during 1962?] 

Modern Indian drama has been a haphazard growth during the last six or 
seven decades. Its roots do not stretch back into the distant past associated 
with Bharata, Bhasa and Kalidasa. Long centuries of alien invasions and 
social upheavals have succeeded in obliterating any living contact with our 
ancient traditions. The present day drama and theatrical practice is a legacy 
bestowed on us by some of the early European settlers who for their own 
entertainment enacted in improvised theatres certainold fashioned comedies 
with sets and costumes in the worst Victorian tasteiltwas only as a result of 
this impact that enlightened movements for building up a modern tradition 
in theatre and drama started functioning. Vishnupant Bhave of Bombay, 
Girishchandra ! Ghosh from Bengal and Krishnamachari from Madras-all of 
them accomplished writers and skilled producers and actors may be said to 
have laid the foundation of a renaissance in modern Indian drama. 

But the great awakening heralded in the West by playwrights like Ibsen, 
Chekhov, Strindberg and artists of the theatre like Stainslawski, Meierhold 
and Craig, did not exert any lasting or even significant influence on the Indian 
theatre. Although Indian playwrights, in later days, visited the great centres 
of Western drama abroad and came into contact with its authentic forms they 
have not been able to bring about any fadical change in the outlook of the 
play-goer or producer in India. The reason for this is not any lack of sincerity 
in the pioneering efforts of our playwrights, but the great. distance that 
separates the theatre in India today from a coherent community which is 
ultimately the only support that can keep it alive. 

We should remember that the theatre all over the world was created out 
of an inherent human need. It has nothing in common with the machanised 
forms of entertainment that have come into vogue in recent times. These 
forms do not pre-suppose a human need. They have not come into existence 
as a result of an insistent human demand. They merely provide some means 
of filling up a social vacuum in the complex pattern of modem community 
living. This was not the case with the theatre that grew out of a deep rooted 
desire on the part of a social community for some kind of healthful and 
fruitful Corporate physical activity. Some of Hhese spontaneous activities 
must have by efflux of time crystallized in an ordered ritual partly mime and 


partly speech. Occasions like the harvest, the arrival of the rains, births and 
marriages in the community provided opportunities for the spontaneous 
expression of the social need in play and mime. These corporate physical 
activities which in course of time achieved an orderly form of play were born 
out of a passionate desire on the part of a well knit community for self- 

expression. We can safely conclude from this that even in modern times 
theatre can only flourish if it has some vital relationship with a community 
of men and women actuated by a deep desire to live and strive together for 
the achievement of a common objective. In the absence of a social reference 
of this kind it is not possible for a theatre to sustain itself and satisfy a vital 
need of the community, which it must seek to represent. 

The earliest form of this communal self-expression is what is known as 
the folk play. A close study of this literary form has not so far been made in 
most of the modem Indian languages. This cannot be studied in isolation as 
a mere literary manifestation. Study of ethnology and anthropology in this 
regard is necessary for the light they can throw on folk ways and behaviour 
in various linguistic regions of this country. The folk-play has to be re- 
constructed from snatches of dialogue that are to be found in some of the old 
folk songs that have come down to us from the distant past. In addition to this 
the customs and folk-lore of compact tribal communities that are still holding 
together must be studied and their speech and play norms recorded before it 
is too late. This is a kind of work in which not only the lovers of theatre but 
also those social philosophers skilled in analysing complicated human 
behaviour must cooperate. The artist of the theatre is interested in recording 
folk-behaviour and folk-speech in their purity so that he may hold the mirror 
up to nature in the theatrical representations he is constantly contriving. It is. 
in his interest that he should join hands with workers in the specialized fields 
of sociology and extract from their labours all that is conducive to the 
enrichment of his own special field of activity. 

Unfortunately the writers and artists in this country have been working in 
isolation without a proper appreication of the great challenge that faced them. 
It is not merely a question of composing a stage- worthy play full of incident 
and animated talk and finding a suitable place to present it. The new dramatic 
compositions have all the appearance of their authentic counter-parts in the 
West but have failed to impress our play-goers to the extent it was expected, 
It was because the-plays so composed were out of time with the great mass 
of people for whom they were intended. Out society is split up into a number 
of insignificant fractions separating one small group from another as a result 
of illiteracy, backwardness and an amazing disparity between the rich and the 
poor. The community of play-goers that generally visit a theatre of serious 
drama are not actuated even broadly by a common outlook. We have read that 


during the great periods of drama in the West there existed great audiences 
too. The best of the Elizebethan or the Periclean drama could not have existed 
without a community of play-goers of great understanding and culture. 

The many attempts that have been made today to improve the standards 
of acting and the building up of stage scenery and lighting and training our 

artists in the latest methods of voice control are necessary and should help in 
the general advancement of play technique and production in this country. 
But a real awakening in the field of drama and the theatre can only come in 
response to a deep desire on the part of a great healthy and literate commu- 
nity. Today we find such compact communities in the various educational 
and scientific institutions, in rural areas where vast numbers of the peasant 
community are engaged in agricultural enterprises and among the great 
industrial organisations that are coming up in various parts of the country. 
The changes in the culture patterns of these communities should be 
thoroughly studied by writef s aspiring to create an authentic draniareflecting 
the life around. 

The theatre plays hardly any part in the daily life of the overwhelming 

majority of the Indian people. This alone will explain the present anaemic 

condition of the theatre in our country. There is evidence of youthful 

enthusiasm for a creative up surge in drama all over the country. There is also 

proof of some patronage by the State for the development of theatre. In both 

the cases, there seems to be lack of direction either in the matter of 

resuscitating our own tradition or raising a national theatre commensurate 

with our own climate and spirit. Above all, the prevailing confusion in the 

minds of writers and actors and even the rulers regarding the relative values 

of the stage and the cinema is also responsible for arresting the growth of a 

genuine popular theatre in our country. For whatever little that is left in our 

theatrical tradition, it has been completely supplanted by the movie. A movie 

can never be equated with the theatre. The living actor provides the stage with 

an enormous advantage in audience creation over the more mechanised 

stimuli of the motion picture. There may be occasional good pictures, but the 

predominant use of mechanical instrumentation usually tends to a craft rather 

than to artistic excellence and the deeper satisfaction of the theatre. The 

crying need of the day is to create a play that would draw the public and make 

them respond to theatrical reflection of social consciousness. The relative, 

values of the stage and the cinema can then be assessed and the theatre can 

be restored to its rightful place in the life of the nation. Until that time, the 

future of the theatre in India will continue to be dismal and disappointing. 









[Selected poems translated by the Author] 

A canto of cataclysm this universe 
Wet of the tortured soul is the verse 
Vain is your grief, blessed are we 
Let us celebrate the great catastrophe 

The drain that stinks in the lane 
Gains of our gamble are stored threin 
We cannot roll into a kit 
So many men's tears for a profit. 

Life is fettered; to know is to suffer 
Man is free within the prison 

The blue sky of yester year 
Where's it now, mother? 
The cool breeze of yester year 
Doesn't blow now, mother! 

Caged in the blue shadow 
Of the dark wings of the bird of Time 
I stand before the weeping eyes 
of the midnight, mother! 

The bracelets of Death 
Sound with a bang, mother 
I shivered in the presence 
Of the final gloom. 

In a life of dreams, 
Castles in air have melted away. 
Let me search for light 
With eyes hollow, mother. 

The blood that craved for freedom 
has bled awhite, mother 
I am the defeated 
Adieu! mother! 

Whose fault is it, mother 
If I resist rancour 
Who's crime is it, mother 
If the world is out of its gear? 

Put out the light 

for our doomsday is today. 

Put out the light 

for today is our journey's end; 

Let the biting winter's wind 
break your spine, 
but do not listen 
to its word; 

Our hollow eyes 
Cannot look at light, 
do not reveal the soul 
even if you are hanged; 

Behold! Look for mines 
beyond the dark 
for the hidden treasure 
of life's secrets! 

Creation has no death, 
Be not dismayed. 
It cuts short of our sight 
A veil of wilderness 
is dropped before us; 
And our path is then lost. 

This is endless; 
Probe into the ends of dark: 
It is a minaret lit by 
multi-coloured lights; 
And that's the danger. 
Ask the living: 
Life is a rosy land 
of doubts. 

Now is the time for the 

hangman's ropes. 
Sob and suffer and sob 
In suffering, in the throat, 

there is the secret of our being: 
Sob and suffer and sob. 


Here, in the game of life 
Rules are violated 
We should not die 
The death of deception. 

At last, a new universe 

shall be created 

And a new life 

Shall blossom,.ii is not a bluff. 

Now, they will hang 

us by rope unto death 

Weep, suffer and weep 

In suffering and in the weeping voice 

Life has its hidden secret. 

[Poems collected from the Author's 
rough notes.] 


An affair ago 

The stake of somebody's mistake 
whirling me into this world 
Pawning me to the present. 

In streets strange 

And amidst voices alien 

Here in the dark 

Lone and forsaken 

As I comb the the night's womb 

The echo is heard 

In the gutters far away. 

In the lecherous lap 
Of memories lost 
Half awake half asleep 
Once I dared to question 
The very validity of life. 

It was, once, true 

I had a woman 

Who damned her dimensions 

In beds that breed tigers 

in the eunach eye 
Wintering her spurious warmth 
While her Lethean thirst 
Leads her bawdy load 
Of bruised desires 
and banished fires 
In quest of carnal recreation. 

Lit were then 
Candles of scandal 
Revealing ruffled raptures ruptured 
And as the grinding wind 
Wends its way through the dark 
singing in sonorous monotone 
The ballad of the bastard- 
Her naked name baked. 

The skin that senses 

The fevers running through flesh, 

Neither knows the unknown 

Nor is aware of the infinite. 

It is next to the kin 

Of the restless bone 

That burns all alone. 

The wheel of blood 
That drills the wound of love 
And reels around the vast past 
Of animal instinct 
Enchained by the speed of the seed- 

Is the first resort 
Of man's justification. 

Time is when I quiver 
Into a burning desire 
For all that I cannot own 
in the corner of crippled goals 
In this tavern of tears. 

As I look at the stellar code, 
As carnivorous breezes caress 


My volcanic brow 

I am certain this is not the end 

But only the start of the certain. 

When trees decay and waters diy 
It is the sinning sky tl? ' >i*ent 
While my destitute dust 

under the feet 
spreads a mute invitation 
For my prodigal return. 

Yet I suspect 

Beyond the present wonder 
Would blood me the basis 
For the parasites of God? 

My doubt, then, weaves a web, 
In which tangled I exclaim: 
"Let us not rest in quest 
Or raise a shelter. 
The Times are shifting sands 
The Times are awful bad. 
Let us just meet and depart 
Carrying our individual aches 
Into the special night." 

In hope I yet grope 

For light to reveal 

The manner of the myth, 

Of my being and becoming 

Of my zeal for the final deal 

Of my lust for all that's crushed. 

What avail if your spirit really lives 
Wafted into some nook of space 
Blind, dumb, neither warm nor cold 
What means such an existence 
Beyond a word hidden 

with-ina meaning 
Even the things we remember 
By keeping alive what 

death has taken 
Your words look acts of love 
All done while the body stood 


the Soul's thin flame! 

Between dying and death 
Secret and its revelation 
There lay the lingering breath 
Caged in a frail frame 
On an April early hours 

This morning 

I was awakened 

As arrows of your tears 

struck the silent breasts 

Of the Earth; 

A moment later 

You came naked and beautiful 

Touched my blood 

with wings of water. 

While lured by 

Your lewd leaden 

I loved and craved 

For a morning with you 

And I did not know 

That in your foot steps 

Death's virgin secrecy 

Is revealed. 

A moment mirrored 
In the horror of my being 
Is a lavish wish 
The bright nightmare 
Of an inconclusive affair 
So past, so premature, 
Nurtured in its fractured bosom 
For the present, I hold. 

To you my love 
This signatured broken heart 
I offer; and sing you a song 
In declines and dead lives 


As the Pegasus of my posthumous 


Leaps like petulant Peccadillo 
That is neither returned 
Nor rejected. 

To you my love 
To night I offer 

Every home has a hole 

Every dame has a name 

Every comer its crack 

Every beast its feast 

I of all the awake 

Am the one with the oblivion. 

This, my love 

A token of my agony 

Ancient, green, clean 

I offer you 

Not as a measure 

Of my passion or a memento 

Of a certain tailored feeling 

Or dough of my desperate bidding 

In the vein-glorious rough rustle 

Of our red unison. 

Bemoan, moon, 

I the eye of the dark 

Beseech you 

For a silent solicitude 

In your heart 

For I am dying 

An ethical death 

under the vicarious shadow 

Of days not to come 

In this valley of noon. 

Of my lone long walks 
In the lanes of yester loves 
unveiling the rhymes 
Flowing thro 1 my veins 

Conversing in .silence 

With winds thai grind my thoughts 

You know, 

And you remember 

Bemoan, moon, 

The stare of stars 

Torturing my winged eye 

Annotates their agony 

Ancient, green and grown 

AJuring my ailing years 

Against rising rivers 

Of my singular attempt 

To rape the shape of the eternal 

Yet this city 

of trimmed manners , of tailored feel- 


Is in a well tailored trance. 

If there is any merit, 

bless me with a word of encourage 


if it is not worth the trouble 

You take reading them, you will 

pardon me. 

A line from you is all that I 

lavishly solicit. 


The clock 

glows in your bosom 
The second 

breeds terrors in your veins 
Rage of pain ransacks the red 

of your lips 

And I am here for you dear fear 
Playing on lyre soft notes 

of my own funeral pyre: 

Choose then between rain and ruin 
Where seed sprouts and blood crawls 
We cannot alter the becoming 


And the eye's faltering. 

Before the rush of flood 

and the gush of blood 

Let me raise my shelter of doom 

And I will light it with 

the broomstick of my passion 

Where peace is measured 
by pace of whirlwind's voice 
And where the end is treasured. 

Crazy winds of winter 

clap in horror 
The choice is one way 
While the breath battles for another 


And the dreams of dust beat 

the retreat 

Drowning in the midwater 
Said she to the child 
Whose infant teeth 
pierced thro' her nipple 
And whose life lasted earlier: 
'It's dual and painful 

this death, son! 
Life is sweeter in sweat 

and dirt or lavender. 
Alive we are diverse 

traversing in trouble 

Dead we are all one 

and ever, 

It is true I could not feed you 
Since I was raped by my own flesh 
It's true you had a voice 

that was beautiful 
And no words could bring your 

hunger nearer to me. 

And our death is in fulfilment 
of the Socialist pattern, son! 

At the north end of the dark 
The man weighed forty stones 
He clung hard to a strand 
And could not cry aloud 
For he swallowed three tons 

of water. 

And in his death, 

Was seen a practical joke 

How man could croak. 

* * * 

Close the doors 
Raise the windows 
Look down upon the lane 
Not from the balcony 
But from your bed-room. 

* * * 

[Poems collected from the Author's rough notes] 




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